Notable in Larry's current issue is the reference to a poll taken by the City of Rowlett. You can view the actual questions on Larry's site by clicking on the link to the city newsletter:
The navigation aids are on the left side of the page that will get you to Rowlett's newsletter. Or.......you can go straight to the Rowlett website http://www.ci.rowlett.tx.us/e and go to the third paragraph under Rowlett News.
In any event, I want to compress the questions into the pertinent parts. The blue is mine. Essentially, the questions went like this:
1. How important is it for Rowlett to maintain streets and alleys? How willing are you to pay additional taxes to assure that the City can properly maintain streets and alleys? The overwhelming responses were "yes" and "very willing."
2. How important is it for the City to maintain the parks and amenities? How willing are you to pay additional taxes to assure that parks and amenities will be maintained? The overwhelming responses were "yes" and "very willing."
3. How important is it to have a public library? What services would you be willing to reduce? The leading response was that citizens were not willing to reduce services at all......thus implying a tax increase was okay.
Well, the above survey was pretty predictable. The way the questions were asked almost guaranteed the result. To a non thinker, it would appear that the citizens are uproariously in favor of a tax increase......just name the amount.
However, let's ask some different questions. Let's ask:
1. Should the taxpayer make up the $600,000 lost from turning down Jim Douglas' deal on Liberty Grove?
2. Should the taxpayer make up the $600,000 lost from turning down the McEntee Ranch subdivision?
3. Should the taxpayer agree to give away $6,000,000 of their assets to build the Villages Apartments, and then pay an additional $225,000 per year for the next 15 years to make up for the tax abatements for the Villages?
4. Is the taxpayer willing to eliminate the senior exemption to get another $3.2 million in revenue? Those old people don't need the money, anyway.
5. Should the City reduce the tax rate to offset the increased evaluations of real property? Essentially, 1/3 rd of the taxable real property will receive a 10% increase, then again one year later, then again in the third year. After that, they can start all over again. Or.......shoot, just keep the money. You don't need to adjust the tax rate. What's a dollar or two among friends?
What kind of answers would you get if these questions were asked in the same poll? We didn't change "officialdoms" nor did we change city councils, or staff, or cities. All we changed were the questions.
You don't really think the subject survey of citizens posted on the city's website was a snow job, do you? The questions and the answers prove everybody just loves to pay taxes. Everybody is so happy. Surely, "officialdom" does not considered you that dumb. Or, maybe "officialdom" just doesn't know how to create capital. Maybe the second group of questions were unwarranted....not really needed.....too anti-nice. Certainly not needed if one doesn't know what to do with them. Certainly, if one gets enough tax money, it covers up a whole bunch of tax base mistakes. Let's try getting someone else's money. You know........additional tax base.