AUSTIN, Texas — Austin voters passed nearly a billion dollars worth of infrastructure bonds on Tuesday.
- Austin voters pass $925 million bond package
- Reject Propositions J and K
- Bond package will cost homeowners $65 a year in property taxes
All seven propositions passed, and some had more than 80 percent approval. The $925 million is set aside for affordable housing initiatives, repairing Austin pools, and replacing the Dougherty Arts Center.
More than $100 million will go toward improving Austin streets and replacing the Red Bud Trail Bridge near Tom Miller Dam. Mayor Steve Adler says it was a big win.
"This is a community that recognizes that our challenges are big, and we are expected to act in big ways to deal with those challenges,” he said. “If we are truly interested in trying to preserve the spirit and soul of this city, then we have to act in big ways."
The bond package will cost the typical Austin homeowner about $65 a year in property taxes.
Despite each gathering signatures from at least 20,000 Austin voters, the public rejected Propositions J and K.
Prop J sought to give voters the final say on any comprehensive rewrite of the City's land development code. Austin leaders say that could've added three years to the process.
Prop K sought to have the entire City audited by an independent third party. Conservative groups claim the audit could find tens of millions of dollars in annual savings, but critics say it would've duplicated the city's audit process. Adler said he was happy to see both propositions fail.
"The overwhelming rejection of Prop K, government by petition and this secret dark money, unsourced money, this was the community speaking with a single voice affirming the actions the Council were taking," he said.
The group behind Proposition J is trying to get signatures to reconsider the City's Major League Soccer stadium agreement.
The City Manager is crafting a new process to rewrite the land development code, which determines the size, type and shape of buildings. He says he doesn't have a deadline to bring back a new plan.
City leaders want it to include goals from four major plans approved this decade.