Texas' big city mayors to fight for local control during session

Mayors from large cities across the state are in Austin meeting about legislative priorities.

"This is the legislative season and there are common interests among the big cities," said Adler who hosted what he's calling the M10.

During a press conference after a closed door meeting the mayors made it clear they'll be fighting for local control under the dome.

Mayors from Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, Corpus Christi, Plano, Fort Worth, and Arlington joined Adler for the meeting.

"The people who live in cities want to be able to solve their problems their own way," said Adler.

While they hear the calls for tax relief they're concerned about possible revenue limitations. One bill filed by a Senate Republican calls for a four percent revenue cap. Mayors say that would hit cities hard especially when it comes to services.

Local control also extends to other issues like a city's ability to pass ordinances similar to Austin's bag ban. That is a practice Governor Greg Abbott wants to end.

"What we need to make sure is our hands are not tied," said Corpus Christi Mayor Nelda Martinez.

Tax relief for property owners and businesses is a top priority for Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Senate republicans.

"We're citizens and we're going to lobby and ask our constituents to reach out to their lawmakers," said Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

According to a recent survey 74 percent of people polled believe city and county governments would do a better job of making decisions about property taxes. With politics at play the mayors say they stand together and want to work with lawmakers.

"If you're going to allow cities the right of self-determination and you publicly state you're interested in local control then you need to leave our local control alone," said Parker.

The mayors say they'll make the trip back to Austin to testify when needed.

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