Austin
12:42 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Eckhardt Criticizes McCombs for Seeking Tax Breaks, Suing Appraisal District

This is an excerpt from an article written by our Austin City Hall reporting partner, the Austin Monitor (formerly In Fact Daily).

Travis County Judge candidate Sarah Eckhardt continued her verbal campaign against billionaire businessman Red McCombs Thursday, taking him to task for asking taxpayers to contribute millions of dollars to build the Circuit of the Americas race track but going to court to get his property tax bill on the facility lowered.

Eckhardt, a former Pct. 2 Commissioner who is running for the top job in Travis County, issued a statement criticizing McCombs – one of the developers of the Formula 1 race track – for throwing his political and financial weight around to get what he wants.

“Like most billionaires, Red McCombs is used to getting his way,” she wrote. “After handing out big bucks, the big-time car dealer got part of the UT football stadium and the entire business school named after him. And, after getting a huge tax subsidy from Texas taxpayers, he helped convince a majority of the Travis County Commissioners Court (that didn't include me) to hand over local tax dollars for his Formula 1 racetrack.”

She added: “And McCombs gets really upset when he doesn't get his way.”

The San Antonio-based McCombs built his wealth through the Red McCombs Automotive Group, a chain of car dealerships, and has also had interests in oil, broadcasting, real estate and sport franchises.

He was most recently in the news for making derogatory comments after University of Texas Athletic Director Steve Patterson named Charlie Strong as UT’s new head football coach. However, news reportsThursday said McCombs had talked with Strong, apologized for his comments and offered his full support.

But Eckhardt maintains that McCombs’ influence was evident in the recent vote by Travis County Commissioners to spend some $13 million to essentially extend Kellam Lane from SH 71 to the COTA front gates.

To continue reading this story, head over to The Austin Monitor