Opposing groups debate medical school proposition
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The debate surrounding a proposal to raise taxes in order to bring a medical school to Austin is heating up.
On Friday the Austin-Travis County EMS union held a press conference to endorse the health district's Proposition 1—State Senator Kirk Watson’s plan to bring a medical to Austin and expanding care to more residents.
"A lot of people in our community that don't currently have a medical home will have a medical home in community clinics, will have better wellness programs,” Sen. Watson said.
Meanwhile, members of the Travis County Taxpayers Union are protesting the property tax hike that the proposition requires. For a $200,000 home, the tax would come out to an additional $100 per year.
"That number was not chosen on what Austinites can afford,” Laura Pressley, Proposition 1 opponent, said.
For every dollar local taxpayers spend on the project, the federal government will put in $1.50. Supporters call that a boon, but opponents call it an empty promise.
"The problem is that is coming from a bankrupt government. I promise you, cuts are coming,” opponent Roger Fall said. “Where are we going to fill that dollar-fifty gap? Where's that money coming from?"
Those opposed to the tax hike say it's simply too much for Austin families to shoulder. Energy and water rates are already going up, and other bond item will be on the November ballot.
Meanwhile, supporters say bringing a medical school to Austin will generate $2 billion dollars for the economy each year.