Sometime ago; it feels like eons, I wrote that I really didn't know much about managing a city and the cost associated with it. I know I was on City Council but that doesn't expose one to the day to day trials and tribulations of city management. Of course, the cost of running a city is what gives rise to taxes. Right off the bat I want to say that the pay of members of the City Council is not a big drain of tax revenues. I think the salary is about $94 a month after taxes.........and we had to donate one month's salary to buy and cook for city employees once a year. That's about as close to volunteer help as you can get. Oh......we got two or three sandwiches a month, too.
It's a bit of an over-simplification, but A city's revenue can come from four main sources 1) Real estate taxes, 2) Fees and sales tax, 3) General obligation bonds, and 4) Revenue bonds. Altho bonds can be a source of big chunks of money, bonds are for a specific use. For day to day costs, the Real Estate taxes are the big kahouna. Real Estate taxes are based on two main ingredients and the following calculation: TAX RATE X TAX BASE = amount to be divided up amongst taxpayers. . This blog deals with tax base, almost exclusively. Are there valid arguments for and against the spending of tax money? Of course. However, this blog will not attack tax rate or how the day to day money is spent. That is a whole different issue. Do I think there should be a forum about tax rate? I sure do. I would join that debate........but not here.
This blog site will focus on good real estate decisions and quality of lifestyle. Why? Because both contribute to a superior tax base. A superior tax base keeps tax rates low. We can't be foolish. We have to play the cards we are dealt. As far as bloviating (shooting off your mouth), it is just a waste of time. Bloviating stops being bloviating once you start using facts. Then, true dialogue begins. Example of bloviating? Placing Rowlett in the same sentence with Detroit probably could use a few facts.
How about we start with something simple........like "Lifestyle." What makes a good lifestyle? Well, it would appear that some in Rowlett "officialdom" feels that Rowlett has enough normal southwest American style houses. You know, those funny houses with fences and backyards that don't even touch each other. I think the detractors of these funny houses say we are "over-built" with these funny houses. It is said we need houses that touch, or nearly so. Also, they must be expensive, because if they are less than $250K in price, the City of Rowlett can't afford them anymore.......at least that's what some on council and running for council think. I guess since they are in favor of something like "Rowlett, Inc." instead of the City of Rowlett, all people who have homes worth less than $250K are going to have to find their own police department and firemen. The city can't afford them anymore. They probably shouldn't be allowed to use the parks, either. "Rowlett, Inc." will have to get out of the police, parks, and fire business unless the citizen's home is over $250K. But........I digress.
Since funny little southwest USA houses are no longer in vogue, it seems to have been decided by wizened leaders that a good lifestyle must have high density housing EVERYWHERE. That is, everywhere that is not reserved for offices and warehouses. Our consultants seem to feel they are going to intersperse housing between commercial buildings........kinda like Detroit; the parts that are still standing. I believe the chairman of the P&Z made reference a couple of meetings back comparing Rowlett to Detroit....that is, if we didn't get some higher housing density in here. I haven't got a clue what in the heck association he was trying to make. It wasn't even good bloviating. We, of the unwashed, might have even called it patronizing. I don't like being patronized.
More on taxes next post.......and election(s)? are coming up. What a joke. You ready?