Debate over Prop 1 heats up - | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Debate over Prop 1 heats up

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The debate over a proposed health care tax hike in Travis County is heating up. Both sides faced off at a local steakhouse to carve out a position.

Prop-1 if approved will not build a new medical school for Austin the money will actually be used to ramp up, help operate the school and improve other local health services.

Wednesday afternoon at the Steiner Ranch Steakhouse a forum took place between those endorsing and opposing Prop 1 which is on the general election ballot. It was a gathering of conservatives put together by the Travis County taxpayers union.

Dr. David Berry, a local doctor who specializes in high-risk pregnancies spoke out against Prop 1 saying he likes the idea of having a med school but believes UT and Seton should bare the cost not the taxpayers.

Health care Attorney Ryan Downton, argued in support of Prop 1 saying it's one of the few taxes up to voters not politicians. He believes it will be a job creator and will also help leverage millions of dollars in matching funds for Austin.

Prop 1 is a 5-cent property tax increase for the central heath district - which has been linked to a plan to build a medical school in Austin.

The average property value in Travis County is about $214,000. If approved, the estimated annual health district tax bill that property owner would have to pay would be $276 per year and that breaks down to around $23 per month.

The five extra pennies would raise an estimated $54 million a year to help operate med school, not build it.

Early voting starts on Oct. 22.


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