Comments: Austinites: Remember to Vote!

Hi. I've heard that the Hospital Tax District won't raise the taxes of homeowners inside the city limits. How does that work exactly? Will my city or county taxes be lowered to offset the new tax?


Posted by Todd at May 8, 2004 09:37 PM


If you live in the city of Austin your taxes will stay the same or be lowered slightly.

What the hospital district will do is raise the taxes for non-city residents in the county to equalize them with the taxes of city residents. Right now, citizens of wealthy suburbs such as Westlake Hills and Lake Austin pay significantly lower taxes than city of Austin residents. The Travis County Hospital District would equalize rates for all Travis County residents.

Posted by Byron L at May 8, 2004 09:53 PM

I am voting for the Hospital District, but to say that it wont raise taxes for city residents is a little misleading. The plan retains the right for the new district to enact new taxes at a later time, so its likely that eventualy, the taxes of city residents would go up. But, in reality, that would probably happen no matter what. Vote YES Hospital District

Posted by Will at May 8, 2004 10:20 PM

A tax raise for Austin residents in the future is a possibility, but I would argue that under the current system its more likely that they would be raised more than under the hospital district system as the burden will be spread out among all Travis Co. residents as opposed to just city of Austin residents.

Posted by Byron L at May 9, 2004 12:12 AM

Thanks for the feedback. The irony is this: while wealthy non-Austin residents pay less in taxes toward the health care system, they receive the best care.

I have doubts as to whether a Health Care District would equalize services. Parity should be based on income, not geography. Make the wealthy pay their fair share through other means.

Have other solutions been discussed?

Posted by Todd at May 10, 2004 11:02 AM

How about decoupling the entire structure and not taxing people for the services others use?

Posted by Charles Hueter at May 10, 2004 02:27 PM

So basically we should ask people who are victims of attacks or rape or in car wrecks or with a stroke or heart attack to pay before they enter the ER if they don't have insurance?

Right. Another example of how libertarianism looks good on paper but fails in practice.

Posted by Byron L at May 10, 2004 05:31 PM

Not at all. Non-elective health care cannot be governed by the free market. But why not base payment on a sliding scale? It's a simple technique used by many clinics.

Will wealthier residents be forced to pay for the health care of others? Yes. We all benefit from a society that values human life -- all human life.

When we as a society leave the value of life to Adam Smith's invisible hand, we're no better than plantation owners.

Posted by Todd at May 10, 2004 11:03 PM

Seriously folks: Marc Levin is bad news. As a U.T. student he sued the student government and lurked on the listservs of progressive student organizations to gather evidence against the "left-wing conspiracy" that haunts his dreams each night.

If you care about the future of progressive issues in Texas at all, show up at the polls and let him know that his far-right opinions aren't welcome in Austin...

Posted by Vote No On Levin! at May 11, 2004 12:28 AM

Byron, I don't know how you get "failed" out of the senario you described. Since when did people get a right to healthcare? Since when must others be forced to pay for it?

Posted by Charles Hueter at May 11, 2004 10:23 AM

Well I think it's a fundamental difference in political philosophy. I believe that decent health care is a right for all Americans.

Posted by Byron L at May 11, 2004 03:07 PM

Byron, Byron.. I wish it would not bug you so much that Lupe is soft-spoken. As I commented earlier, it has not kept her from pushing her issues and being successful at it. As The Chronicle states, these candidates have similar goals/issues. Lupe has been the visionary and pushing these issues for several years now. Rodney and Veronica did not even bother to vote in the most recent ACC elections.. well Veronica voted in one, can't say the same for Ahart. What is up with that? Where is the committment and dedication to the "issues of higher education"? FYI - Lupe has picked up endorsements from Hon. Rep. Eddie Rodriguez
Jackie Goodman, Maria Canchola, John Worley (ACC Board of Trustees), Citizens for Educational Excellence at ACC (CEEACC), South Austin Tejano Democrats, South Austin Democrats, Travis County Dems - Women (or something like that) and The Austin Chronicle. Vote Sosa!

Posted by AustinGirl172 at May 11, 2004 03:20 PM
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