Hot Take: Austin’s NPR Wants to Censor Views on Property Tax Relief

Surprise, surprise: I’ve got another bone to pick with the media.

Not only do they want to push more fake news about property taxes, but they also want to censor views — even when they’re the ones who asked for a quote!

Thanks to the property tax bill the legislature passed last year, many counties across the state were required to create elected positions in their appraisal review boards.

Conservatives across the state, like those who won in Tarrant County, saw the new positions as an opportunity to advocate for taxpayers by keeping appraisal policies in check.

In Austin, Matt Mackowiak, a Republican, ran on a similar platform but lost.

KUT Austin wrote an article on the outcome and a reporter reached out to Mackowiak for a comment. Pretty standard stuff.

And he gave them a quote:

“As of 2022, Travis County had 886,480 registered voters. Yesterday there were 51,200 total votes cast, a turnout of 5.77%. I appreciate the 12,000+ votes that I received running as a taxpayer advocate. Unfortunately, a strong majority wants higher property taxes — and we will all get to pay the price. People like to complain about the affordability crisis, but in the end voters did not know enough or care enough to seize this opportunity,” he said.

And then KUT published the article – but without Mackowiak’s comment.


When confronted about the omission, this was their response:

“Hi Matt – your statement included misleading information, so we decided not to include,” they told him.

And what’d they say was “misleading”?

“While appraisals are obviously related to property tax bills, a higher or lower appraisal does not equate to a higher or lower property tax bill. We couldn’t include the idea that a ‘strong majority wants higher property taxes’ since it inaccurately portrays the power of the board of directors.”

What the heck?!

First of all, what is misleading is their response regarding property tax bills, which shows their complete lack of understanding on the issue.

Second, the media’s job is to report, not to play judge, jury, and executioner.

But I guess you can’t expect anything different from the local taxpayer funded NPR station whose national organization recently suspended without pay a 25 year veteran when he wrote a scathing piece on how NPR has “lost its way when it started telling listeners how to think.”

“Telling listeners how to think.” Well, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Instead of including Mackowiak’s quote and also researching and factually reporting how the property tax process works, which would allow the reader to form their own opinion, they themselves decided his quote was “misleading”– basically telling readers how to think with their biased and wrongheaded exclusion of it.

The Texan does things differently. We’re not in the business of silencing voices. 

We believe in presenting all sides of the story so that you, the reader, can make up your own mind.

Whether it’s property taxes or any other issue, we’re committed to delivering the unbiased, in-depth reporting you deserve.

So if you haven’t already, it’s time to saddle up with The Texan and subscribe today!

And if you’re tired of the biased radio “reporters” skewing the news, check out our Daily Rundown podcast that gives a quick, unbiased, and free summary of the news every weekday.