In Rick's appeal to approve the project, he rebutted my objection that the tax "formula" submitted for Council's approval did not generate enough tax revenue to "pay it's way." In other words, the cost to the city of having the project exceeded the annual revenue generated by the project. Therefore, the Rowlett tax payer was subsidizing the proposed project. I have nothing against the developer making money........as long as taxpayers make a little, also.
In Rick's rebuttal, he mentioned and justified a number I have often heard being emitted from "officialdom's" mouths. This number is a value that a house in Rowlett must have, when multiplied by the current tax rate, to provide sufficient tax revenue to "pay their way." Rick referenced this number the other night when he said there was nothing wrong with subsidizing the proposed apartment project, because, he stated, that the city approved subdivisions "all the time" whose house values do not provide the necessary tax revenue to "pay their way." I've heard the number mentioned several times by different officials. It varies slightly each time, but always exceeds $300K. A number of $325K is probably a good average.
Folks, I don't believe that number. I never have. I have never understood how it was conceived. I have always thought that the number was thought up by someone who never really had enough to do, and really didn't know what they were talking about, anyway. I think its an example of a "numbers freak" playing games with arithmetic, and not knowing the full scope of his assignment. I think it's a classic example of "B. S."
I have never heard anyone from "officialdom" mention the source of the number. Where did it come from? Who "calculated" this number and presented it as fact? Where's the proof that the number is valid? Rowlett's "officialdom" seems to think its valid. They use it periodically as part of their facts vault........as evidenced by Rick's use of it. Anyone......please send me the source of the number and I'll research it.
So, for discussion purposes, let's use the $325K home value as a baseline value to ask a couple of questions.
If it costs the city more to service a $200K home than what a taxpayer pays in taxes, where does the extra money come from to pay the balance of the costs? The city can't print their own money. The funding MUST come from the all the taxpayers, including homes worth over $325K and homes under $200K. Do you charge a higher rate on taxpayers that have more expensive homes? No, you can't do that. That's illegal. Do arbitrarily add $125K to the value of a $200K house to get the tax bill up to where they "carry their load?" No, that's illegal, too.
So......how do we get the city to become cost effective and only provide services to only homes that "pay their way?"
..... I got it!!
We send a letter to all the homeowners that the Dallas or Rockwall Appraisal Districts say own homes that have a value of less than $325K. We inform these homeowners that Rowlett can no longer provide police and fire protection. They have to hire their own police and fire protection. Also, they have to repair their own streets. Heaven forbid that the sanitary sewer line stops up. It might get a little "earthy" in the old subdivision.
Of course, we'll lose all the tax revenue that is generated by homes valued at less than $325K. Therefore, we'll have to raise the rate of all homes over $325 to compensate. Or, we can layoff all the employees that have become unneeded because of the reduced work load. I doubt that most houses in Rowlett exceed $325K in value, so that means more than half of the staff and employees would be laid off.
After the above adjustment, we would have the value vs. cost ratio in balance. We would now have a cost effective city. Everything is really cool, now. Brian can go fishing.
Does anyone besides me realize just how incredibly stupid and useless such "facts" are? Why does our "officialdom" insist on using them? Is it simply a lack of knowing what the hell they're talking about? Or, is it more sinister?
It doesn't matter. We can fix all that. .