Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wylie Tough Love Talk

Perhaps some feel I was a bit hard on our council in my previous tax rate post.   I should be grateful about the one cent tax decrease proposed, and believe me, I am. But my home assessment has increased dramatically over the last two years and a two cent decrease will mean little compared to the additional property tax outgo over those two years.  

It's time for a little tough tax love, Wylie folks.  As much as I love Wylie, and as much as I have grown to love our Mayor Eric Hogue, I simply cannot ignore the 1000lb gorilla staring me in the face. Wylie's tax rate is ridiculous.

Why do I say this?  Because I know what every other city tax rate is in Collin County.  To view rates click here.

The closest city tax rate to Wylie's .8789 is Dallas city tax at .797 followed by Farmersville at .785736.  And Councilman David Dahl dared complain at the budget workshop last night that our tax rate is always tossed in their face.  Totally for realz.  Might I suggest that it is for a very good reason?

We are a whopping 8 cents higher than anyone else in Collin County.  And of those cities elsewhere that Wylie likes to compare themselves to, Frisco is .46, Celina is .645, Allen is .54, Rockwall is .4955, and Rowlett is .7872.


 


Yet when Councilman Whitney suggests a 2 cent decrease, nearly everyone up there spits up in their mouth because they just need to, got to, have that $200K sitting in the budget for 4 police officers when they haven't even filled the 4 vacant slots they have.  Oh, and they admitted that others will leave as well.  With a revolving door like that, they will never fill those 4 spots and the funds sit, unused.  Sounds real smart huh?.

At the meeting they proceeded to spoon feed that little tidbit of data to Councilman Whitney, who shut up because he was completely defeated by the gang.  Unfortunately, brute force stomped out any flicker of discussion on a viable topic that should have been handled better.  Why? Because once you give our city the money, you can't pry it from their cold, stiff hands.

So exactly how do these cities handle less tax revenue and function just fine?  Wow, Wylie must be super special.

If other larger, similar, and smaller cities can curb their spending and still afford to pay staff, PD, fire and rescue, why can't we?  I think it's time for some tough love.