As Austin, TX moves to strip a third of funding from their police department, Governor Greg Abbott is taking steps to protect law-abiding citizens from being financially punished by municipalities looking for more taxes to fund the inevitable damage from reduced safety.
Breitbart reports that Abbott and other legislators plan to make a move to cap property taxes in any Texas municipality that defunds their police departments while trying to shift the financial burden to tax payers.
“Any city that defunds its police department will have its property tax revenues frozen ” Governor Abbott warned.
“Part of our collective responsibilities,” Abbott said regarding the leadership gathered at the Fort Worth meeting, “is to ensure the safety and security of all Texans. We will ensure those communities will be protected by law enforcement officers.”
“Defunding police is never the answer,” the governor stated. He said the state will not allow cities to defund police and descend into chaos and lawlessness.
The Texas governor cited recent reports showing the City of Austin being number one in percentage increase in the numbers of murders. Murders in Austin rose by 64 percent in a year-to-year comparison. He said the city also reported a 14 percent increase in aggravated robberies and a 16 percent increase in robberies.
“The last thing we should do is defund law enforcement,” Abbott stated. “And yet that is exactly what the City of Austin did.”
Under my plan any city that defunds police will have their property tax revenue capped at current levels.
Cities can’t cut law enforcement & then turn around and increase taxes on the residents they just endangered.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 18, 2020
Abbott went on to warn that capping property taxes will also affect cities in the future should they fall on hard times. There will be no mechanism to raise those taxes to balance revenue.
The next Texas legislature session begins on January 1, 2021.