Austin sounds off on Project Connect as early voting starts

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin voters have begun casting in-person ballots to decide two major transportation proposals.

Proposition A would implement an 8.75 cent tax rate increase to help build “Project Connect,” Capital Metro and the City of Austin’s $7.1 billion transit proposal. The project includes an underground transit system, light rail and more bus routes.

On Monday morning, several well-known small businesses in Austin gathered to voice their opposition to the tax increase and how it would affect commercial properties.

“Now, it’s like every other restaurant or arts group in town. There’s no money,” explained Shannon Sedwick with Esther’s Follies. “This is a bad time to be talking about adding to our property taxes.”

Supporters of Proposition A rallied Tuesday morning outside the Delco Activity Center off Pecan Brook Drive in east Austin. They say the project will not only connect the city more and bridge the divide between east and west Austin, but it will provide thousands of constructions jobs.

“We can no longer just sit by, and let what’s been going on go on. We have to take a big leap forward now and what better opportunity than this election,” said Chas Moore with Austin Justice Coalition.

“Austin loves to call itself the ‘liberal haven of the South,’ and I think that things like Prop A allow us to do that,” Moore continued.

Proposition B, the second transportation proposal on the ballot, is a $460 million transportation bond package. It would fund projects for sidewalks, bike lanes, urban trails and streets across the city.

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