Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a plan that would permanently block cities from raising property taxes if local governments pass measures that defund local law enforcement agencies.
Abbott and other Republican leaders in Texas pointed specifically to the city of Austin, which recently voted to divert funds from its police department budget.
“Defunding the police puts residents in danger and it invites lawlessness into our communities,” Abbott said. “Any city that defunds police departments will have its property tax revenue frozen at the current levels. They will never be able to increase property tax revenue again if they defund police.”
The governor’s proposal will still need to be passed by a legislative process, expected to begin in January.
Austin City Council member Greg Casar said he was unfazed by the governor’s plan. “We’re going to keep on doing what we are doing,” Casar told KUT. “We’re going to keep on supporting the movement for Black lives and keep on doing what’s right for civil rights even if the governor just wants to rely on the traditional Austin-bashing to try and distract people.”
Police funding showdowns are happening in other cities, such as Minneapolis, New York, and Seattle.
Complete story at NPR.