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Group Files Complaint Against 'Misleading' Austin School Bond

Bobby Blanchard, KUT News

The Travis County Taxpayers Union filed an ethics complaint with the Austin Independent School District, saying the proposed $892 million bond initiative on election ballots next month asks too much of taxpayers.

The group's treasurer, Donald Zimmerman, said the district’s current budget already covers the increase in maintenance cost that the proposition requests. Zimmerman also alleged that AISD acted unethically by providing an estimated cost to average taxpayers on signs promoting the bond.

“You’ve heard that the tax rate is only going to go up $70, whatever it is, for this huge amount of money and really that is a false," Zimmerman said. "That is a misleading statement.”

Zimmerman said the $70 estimated amount is not an exact amount, and that increases in property taxes as result of the bond could be higher.

TCTU member Roger Falk does not think AISD needs a bond of this size.

“They are not underfunded, we give them lots of money, but they always seem to be coming up short and borrowing," Falk said.

AISD officials have said the bond will go to adding new security, new technology and making repairs. The school board will hold a community meeting Tuesday night about the bond.

The Travis County Taxpayers Union unsuccessfully filed a lawsuit against Travis County Central Health for ballot language about a tax rate increase related to the new University of Texas Medical School last October.

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