Travis County threatens to challenge tax exempt status of Precourt Sports Ventures deal

Renderings for a proposed Major League Soccer stadium at McKalla Place in Austin.

Renderings for a proposed Major League Soccer stadium at McKalla Place in Austin.

Travis County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to authorize the County Attorney to challenge the tax-exempt status of Precourt Sports Ventures use of city property. Austin City Council authorized city staff to negotiate and execute a stadium and lease agreement at McKalla Place with the investor-operator group of the MLS team Columbus Crew SC on Aug. 15.

At no point during the negotiations with Precourt Sports Ventures did the city of Austin reach out to Travis County, said county spokesperson Hector Nieto.

The commissioners also voted to approve the pursuit of negotiations with the city and other local taxing entities on expectations for preserving taxable value in the redevelopment of publicly owned real estate.

“I have been concerned about another governmental entity negotiating away taxing authority from the county,” Commissioner Brigid Shea said at Tuesday's commissioners meeting.” So many people are struggling to pay their own property taxes and stay in their own homes. We should be supremely careful about any kind of a deal that negotiates away property taxes and shifts that burden onto taxpayers.”

County staff will begin reaching out to the city of Austin and other government entities with taxing authority over the coming weeks and months.
By Taylor Jackson Buchanan
Taylor Buchanan joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2018 after completing a master of journalism degree from the University of Texas. She worked as the senior reporter for Community Impact's Southwest Austin edition and is now the editor for the company's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition.