Boy!! If one could put this title in a box and sell it, one could make a fortune. Everyone wants taxes to go down. Well, there is a way. You don't have to be brilliant, but reasonably smart, and you have to like to "build stuff."
We can start out by trying to grasp a couple of concepts. They're not hard. There's a little "appraisal stuff" in them, but not much.
First, what is one thing a lemonade stand and the City of Rowlett have in common? They both incur costs to function. Each manager(s) must control costs to function properly. If the price of a glass of lemonade is 25 cents, and let's assume the cost is 15 cents in order to make a profit. If the cost of sugar or lemons is going up, the manager of the lemonade stand must increase the price or reduce the amount of lemons or sugar. If the amount of lemons or sugar is reduced sufficiently, the product is no longer lemonade and the lemonade stand fails.
Altho the City of Rowlett isn't supposed to be making a profit, the city still has the cost squeeze, and it still must function. If the cost of running the city is going up, the city must raise taxes or cut services in order to continue functioning.
If there is one thing on which you can bet the farm, it is the fact that the cost of lemonade and the cost of running of the City of Rowlett are both going to go up. It is inevitable. It can't be helped. One can try to cut costs without harming product or service, but one can only go so far. There is nothing wrong with being prudent and economical, but there is a limit. A point of diminishing returns is also inevitable. The lemonade becomes sugar water and the City of Rowlett begins to fail with withering parks, streets and alleys breaking apart, disgruntled employees and lack of civic pride. Rowlett would cease to be a neat place.
So, if raising the price of lemonade or the tax rate of Rowlett is not feasible, what can be done? Well, the lemonade stand is in a lot of trouble. I fear the lemonade stand is destined for failure. However, the City of Rowlett still has a card to draw. The City of Rowlett can work on their tax base. If the City of Rowlett can increase their tax base more than the increased cost of running the government, the individual taxpayers tax bill should not go up and may come down. What a deal!!
Here's some math you have to grasp, tho.
If the cost of running city hall goes up 5% in a year, and the value of the tax base goes up 5%, then it's a push, right? The value of the tax base went up exactly the amount of the tax increase. Everything's cool, right? WRONG!! Your tax bill just went up 5%. The tax base must increase MORE than the increased cost of running the government in order to stay with the same out of pocket tax bill or perhaps lower the tax rate. In this example, if the tax base increased by 10%, the taxpayer would have received a 5% tax cut. Therefore, the tax base is very important, maybe the most important consideration, in controlling your out of pocket tax bill. This blog is almost totally focused on improving Rowlett's tax base. It infuriates me when dumb, or self serving miscues are made that damages Rowlett's legitimate opportunities to increase it's tax base.......like turning down upscale residential developments in favor of office buildings and warehouses that won't be in Rowlett within our lifetimes.
Now, a few brief words about life style. Life style encourages demand. If you live in a nice place, other people want to live there, too. If there is no more land to build homes, then the price (value) of your house goes up in the ensuing bidding wars. Those increased values will not cut your taxes. However, it will add value to your balance sheet. When you sell, you will be most happy. It would be easy to say, "Stop building houses!! Build something else so our house value will go up!!" Well, not so fast, Murphy. There are other things to consider. If homes of over $300K are being built for families with household incomes of over $150K per year are moving to Rowlett. what are they going to demand in services, restaurants, boutiques, movie houses, etc? Office and warehouse workers will not spend much money in Rowlett.......they will go home to spend their money, but big income residents will spend money. The big new homes are part of the lifestyle. They will create image and bring tax base revenue into the city quickly. A warehouse won't. You'll have to give away 10 years of freebies to get them; they will have only a few employees; and those employees, if they live somewhere other than Rowlett, will spend their money at their home.
Formula to reduce taxes? Work on the tax base!!