For three straight legislative sessions, cities and counties have successfully lobbied against attempts to limit growth in their property tax revenue. But this year, those local governments are worried that their winning streak could end. The senator who led those attempts in 2009, 2011 and 2013 was Dan Patrick, now the lieutenant governor. And he’s made clear that he’ll push for “property tax relief” again. And again, cities and counties are teaming up to fight the idea. Dallas County says its top legislative priorities are blocking “appraisal caps” and “revenue caps.” Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez said the possibility of such caps is one reason cities feel threatened by the Legislature. The Texas Municipal League and the Texas Association of Counties are both on record
If you had stumbled into the “Ad-Hoc” Workshop following the July 14 city council meeting, you would have discovered for yourself that the your city’s Mayor & majority (3 of 5) of your city council believes that McLendon-Chisholm is the “Highland Park of Rockwall County!” It helps shed light on why they are pushing for the largest tax increase in the city’s history immediately after putting the city into long-term debt for the first time (without a vote of the people) to build a new city hall/administration building! So if you’ve moved into McLendon-Chisholm for a more more simple, quiet country-lifestyle, open spaces, and low taxes, you may want to find some other place to live.
An unsettling reality was revealed during the “ad-hoc” workshop to help prepare the “Communications Plan” for how best to spin the upcoming proposed 228% tax increase. Expect the campaign to emphasize the weight of importance that the tax increase places on essential city services, most specifically, the fire department. Even though the mayor and majority of the council put building a new city hall before a new fire department, the campaign is likely to cunningly attempt to shame citizens away from opposition, because to do so would demonstrate a heartless disregard for the safety & security of the community. Also, the campaign will likely prey on citizens’ greatest fears, insinuating that without the increase response time for the fire department will be diminished (which is not true) or, because
When you hang around city hall after a City Council meeting you can learn a lot. Take, for instance, July 14. An “ad-hoc” workshop* took place where about 8 citizens (presumably invited by Mayor Moody, Councilmen Short, Hatfield, or Pullen) who are supportive of what will be the largest tax increase in the city’s history (demonstrated by their vocal enthusiasm for it), convened to help “frame the message” to unsuspecting citizens. This workshop immediately followed the 3 to 2 vote allocating $12,000 for the services of, what Councilman Short described as a “communications expert,” who boasted of their Washington DC, (inside the Beltway) pedigree, to help create what’s being described as a “Communications Plan.” In addition to the spin doctor’s consultative expertise, the $12,000 will include 2 mailings that
A campaign to mislead and deceive citizens into supporting their proposed tax increase is a 700% spending increase over the city’s entire annual communications budget! That’s right, the budget for communicating the Council’s actions for an entire year amounts to no more than $1,500. Yet, by a 3 to 2 margin, tonight the Council allocated $12,000 (which equates to what was raised at last year’s Springfest) for a campaign to convince citizens that their elected officials have done the right thing by increasing the budget to a level that will result in the most monumental tax increase in the city’s history. Facts are stubborn things. -John Adams. Historically, the Council provides only the minimal, state-mandated “Standard Public Notice.” This includes posting to a bulletin board outside of the