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Hearing on anti-Precourt bill set for today

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 by Jo Clifton

The Senate Committee on Property Tax is set to consider legislation this afternoon that could seriously impact Precourt Sports Ventures’ plan to build a new soccer stadium on city-owned property at McKalla Place. Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, is the author of the bill and chair of the committee. Former Travis County Auditor Susan Spataro asked Bettencourt to carry the legislation and former County Judge Bill Aleshire helped her write it. Aleshire and Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty have both indicated that they will testify in favor of the bill. Aleshire, Daugherty and Spataro object to the deal between the city of Austin and Precourt because it does not allow the county or other taxing jurisdictions to collect property taxes from the stadium property and because these entities did not give their permission for the deal. Precourt intends to build a 20,000-seat stadium for Austin FC, a Major League Soccer franchise. One of the major opponents of the deal is Bobby Epstein, owner of Austin Bold FC, which plays in a 5,000-seat stadium at Circuit of the Americas and belongs to a smaller league.

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