I was incredibly proud to join Governor Abbott, Lt Gov Patrick, and several lawmakers today as we announced a proposal to freeze property tax increases in cities that threaten the safety of law-abiding taxpayers by defunding the police.
Shamefully, one of the most egregious and recent offenders of this political theater is the City of Austin, where Mayor Adler has led an effort to cut police funding by $150 million. Ironically, Austin Mayor Adler has been fighting property tax reform efforts in Austin tooth and nail over the past several years, citing public safety as one of the primary reasons for his strong and continued opposition.
In 2016, he declared that a loss of $15.4 million under SB 2 was “risky” and “we should not risk, police, firefighting, EMS…”
Again, in his 2017 testimony to the Senate, he stated that SB 2 is “risky” and “will result in fewer police officers in our communities, longer response times… and fewer tools and equipment our first responders need to keep our community safe.”
He later stressed in a 2019 OpEd that he opposed property tax reform legislation because “our state should not cap the ability of cities to protect public safety.”
In his April 20, 2019 tweet, Adler encouraged followers to oppose SB 2, saying it would “endanger Texans by making it impossible for cities to make the cuts required in #SB2 without impacting public safety.”
So why the about-face in 2020? Up until this year, Mayor Adler was quick to use police funding as a political tool to oppose property tax reform. Now he is trying to appease the radical socialist movement in his party by defunding the police. He has done a complete flip-flop.
Mayor Adler, I have a message to you: Stop using our law enforcement community as a political prop to fit whatever narrative you are trying to peddle from year to year!