Kyle candidates spotlight business growth at forum

Infrastructure and economic growth highlighted Tuesday’s forum for candidates vying for the Kyle City Council, Place 5 at-large seat. 

Kyle Planning and Zoning Chairman Rich Koch and longtime Kyle resident Robert Rizo participated in the event hosted by the Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce. The two talked taxes and plans for the future of Kyle.

Both candidates agreed that they hope to see more businesses set up shop in Kyle, and both want to build up the city’s infrastructure as council members

Rizo and Koch also approved of Kyle’s current tax rate and structure. Rizo said he is more concerned about county taxes than city and he hopes to attract more businesses to Kyle from which to collect property tax money.

“Right now, we have just a slightly higher tax rate on businesses than we do on the citizens of Kyle,” Rizo said. “Bringing in more businesses could alleviate the tax burden on the citizens of Kyle.”

Rizo said he wants to see more blue-collar services available in the city, so residents don’t need to travel to Austin and San Marcos to spend money on supplies and services.

Koch agreed with keeping the city’s current tax rate the same and wants to put taxpayer money toward infrastructure growth through road improvements and public services.

“I think we’re headed in the right direction,” Koch said. “We have to keep laying infrastructure down for growth because that is what will bring in business.”

The candidates addressed the need for Kyle’s business growth to match the city’s expanding population.

“We can’t just ask businesses to come here,” Koch said. “We have to create policy that will bring them to Kyle. We have a lot of competition in the area. We’re located along I-35 so there are areas that swallow up a lot of the industries.”

Rizo said the first thing he wants to do is consult current business leaders in Kyle to develop a plan to make the area more appealing. Rizo said he believes Buda is an easier place for businesses to start in than Kyle.

The candidates credit Kyle’s location as a great place for growth but are concerned that growth is only in population and not in business. The candidates said prepping Kyle for economic growth is their top priority.

Early voting for the Nov. 6 General Election is underway and continues until Nov. 2. All voters in the city of Kyle can participate in the Place 5 election.

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