In my blog post, I was making fun of the city keeping 18.3 cents of the 19.3 cents of additional revenue generated by recent inflation of home values. I thought it was greedy for the city to keep 18.3 cents and only giving one cent of the 19.3 cents generated back to the taxpayers.
Four members of City Council decided they wanted the whole enchilada. They say promises were made to the city that required that they keep all the increased tax revenue generated by increased real estate values. Of course, the all promises made costs money. Since the 19.3 cents per 100 equates to a 19.3% of revenue, then the spending on promises should be 19.3% more than the previous years. Let's round it off to 20%. Now we can ask the question, "Is there 20% improvement in services?"
You can find the below commentary on the City of Rowlett website:
"In Fiscal Year 2017, City staff and the City Council will continue this discussion and develop strategies to identify the deliverables that must be attained, such as when our new development actually impacts revenues, in order to reduce the tax rate in the future. The City Council’s decision Tuesday night to maintain the existing tax rate was very difficult and not lightly entered into. The promises made to Rowlett citizens when the tax rate was raised are taken very seriously and this budget reflects that commitment!"
The underlined passages above seem to conflict with one another. The top underlined passage seems to say they would work hard to still identify what needs to be done. The bottom underlined passage seems to say the promises are already made. Which is it? List the promises so the citizen knows what improvements they are getting for their money. Or....does everybody get a raise and 37 people go out and fix 6 pot holes?
The author of the above commentary is also providing a misdirection move. You are told about the low impact of what one cent will only be on a $160k house. Have you seen a $160K house, lately? I was conservative when I estimated an average $200K value for the average house in Rowlett. I think the current average house price in Rowlett is much higher than that. The tax rate is remaining the same........after recent inflation. The city is receiving approximately 19.3 cents per hundred in increased value!! The city was only talking about a penny, when they should be talking about 19.3 pennies. Let's run the numbers on the 19.3% increase over two years on a $200,000 house. A $200K house will have increased in value by $40,000 over two years. Apply the 19.3 cents per hundred against the average increases in value and you get $40,000 in increases of value times $0.193 per hundred = $77.20 increase in annual city tax in just two years........and some city leaders feel they couldn't even share one lousy penny ($4.00) with the taxpayers. If nothing else, it would show some compassion for the citizens.
Perhaps next year you can be asked to deed your house over to the city.
The city just passed an ordinance whereby future subdivision covenants will allow the City of Rowlett to foreclose on future houses if maintenance is ignored by owners and HOA's. Did you know that the city could then foreclose on your house if you do not properly maintain it? They can. Council passed the ordinance just a few months ago. I wonder who's idea that was? You should ask. Now, in Rowlett, if you purchase a new house in a new subdivision, you are accepting the condition that the city can foreclose on your house if it is not properly maintained. That should endear Rowlett's new subdivsions to potential citizens. I am certainly not for poor maintenance, however I am for protection of property rights. I have lived my entire life rarely bothered by a neighbor's maintenance habits. Usually peer pressure is enough to keep property upkeep within reason. I've got a really good question. Who decides what is proper maintenance? Could the city foreclose on Seniors who can't mow their lawns, because of health or money, as often as a city bureaucrat feels needed? It is now possible.
Do you still have a name? I'm identified most places by the last four digits of my social security number.
Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip.