Gov. Greg Abbott says crime is on the rise in Austin and a new study showed that it “is the No. 1 city in America in the year-to-year percentage increase in murders, with a percentage increase of more than 64% for the first half of this year.”
In an effort to dissuade local governments in Texas from cutting police funding, state leaders have pledged to pursue legislation next year that would freeze property tax revenue for any city or county that cuts its law enforcement budget.
The move came as the Austin City Council approved its $4.2 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which included plans for $21.5 million in immediate cuts to the city’s police budget and plans to shift to other city departments another $128 million in spending on civilian functions currently overseen by police.
During an Aug. 18 press conference announcing the property tax proposal, Gov. Greg Abbott warned that now, more than ever, is a dangerous time for the city to cut its police budget.
“A new study showed that Austin, Texas, is the No. 1 city in America in the year-to-year percentage increase in murders, with a percentage increase of more than 64% for the first half of this year,” Abbott said. “Austin also has a year-to-year increase in the percent rate of aggravated robberies, increasing by 14%, and robberies increasing by 16%. When crime is on the rise, the last thing that we should do is to defund law enforcement.”
Hear how Abbott’s claim scored in the player above.