Why we shouldn\’t just sell AISD HQ.

One of the proposals for shoring up Austin\’s budget woes is to sell the AISD offices on West 6th Street. The current market value is $2.6 million. Which sounds great. But we need to be careful with this. If they sell the offices they have to find a lease. Let\’s say that lease is $5500/month. Since Austin taxpayers only get $55 out of every $100 we give to AISD (the rest going to schools in rural Texas), that $5500 lease will actually end up costing Austinites $10000/month. And that\’s an obligation that will exist if we ever get public school funding fixed. And remember there\’s a cap on the total amount that AISD can tax. Do we really want that much money tied up in a rent payment that we didn\’t have before our budget woes? That\’s going into debt to get out of debt. Silliness.

What AISD should do is sell the West 6th street property and buy a cheaper property in North East or South East Austin. They might only be able to put $1 million towards the budget, but the budget will be better for it in the long run.