Friday, May 26, 2006

Stress, soapbox 2.

Gah. I'm stressed.

Do you ever have that? Where you go through a period of time where EVERYTHING stresses you out. And I do mean EVERYTHING.

Like, I just read the Austin American Statesman online. Two articles there have me wired. One, the fucking city council is considering raising the city property taxes. Now, considering that the property taxes on our house in Austin are fast getting to the point where they are more than our mortgage, I get REALLY angry when I see yet another politician saying they want to add to the property tax burden. Especially when the appraisal values have just skyrocketed again. (Seriously. Our house? Not worth that.)
Yeah, I know, Gov. "Hair" Perry, et al, say they have lowered school property taxes, but we all know that 1) it won't be NEAR as much as they say and 2) school property taxes are just one portion of the bloated tax structure and don't include the other five taxing agencies. (And once again the schools get screwed anyhow....) I don't expect much, if any tax relief from that. There has GOT to be a better way than these property taxes. We bought our house because we could afford it. We are rapidly being priced out of our own home! What do people in gentrified areas do? I feel so bad for them. My time in Norway is starting to show and I am lately thinking: luxury taxes! Extra sales taxes on designer goods and expensive stuff! Increase that cigarette tax! Tax the titty bars! Tax the things that people don't need, and for God's sake, leave (healthy) food and shelter alone!

Then I read an article that Las Manitas and Tesoros might close, due to yet another multi-use property high rise being built in downtown Austin. GAH! I find it endlessly ironic that the very things that make people want to come to downtown Austin are the things that are now getting shut down due to its growth! Remember Waterloo Brew Pub? Shut down and replaced with a crappy chain bar. (Does ANYONE go there?) God I still mourn that place. Capitol City Playhouse? Shut for another chain bar. I worked at Tesoros for almost two years, I did their windows and stuff, and I met some absolutely wonderful people there. And Las Manitas closing would be like losing the funky heart of the city. It just KILLS me.

Between the taxes and all my favorite places closing, I am REALLY starting to wonder: Can I ever come home again? Is Austin becoming just another (expensive) McCity?

Can you tell I haven't been sleeping well? Arg.

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