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Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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Council OKs Circuit of the Americas applications
Friday, February 2, 2018 by Jo Clifton
In a vote of 9-2, City Council approved authorizing the Circuit Events Local Organizing Committee to act on the city’s behalf to seek funding from the Texas Events Trust Fund for two events. Under the resolution, the committee will seek funding for the FIA World Rallycross events and for future MotoGP events to be held at the Circuit of the Americas facility. Council Member Leslie Pool and Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo voted no, but Council members Jimmy Flannigan, Ora Houston and Delia Garza strongly defended taking the money. Flannigan pointed out that the money is not local tax money. If it does not come to Austin it will go to another city in Texas for some other event. Pool noted that she has voted against taking the money in the past and will continue to oppose giving state funds “to the wealthy gentlemen” who stand to gain from taxpayer subsidies. Garza said Circuit of the Americas brings in $14 million to her district, District 2, and has been very helpful to the Del Valle Independent School District. Houston said she had only been out to the Circuit of the Americas one time, but she saw many people who live in District 1 who have jobs there. In addition, she said she saw “a number of vendors that were from District 1 who get an opportunity to participate in getting some of the revenue. So I think it’s a worthwhile obligation. In the beginning, I too was against it, but now that I’ve seen the results I think it’s worthwhile and I’ll be voting for it.”
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