There has been exceedingly robust activity on the Nextdoor social media platform about Collin College, Wylie ISD, the City of Wylie and taxes. To think it all started with a simple question from someone about where the new college campus is going.
As you can imagine, I've taken every opportunity to educate the public on how our tax rates work, and why our taxes continue to increase. One would swear that reducing taxes is a novel new idea. For Wylie, it actually would be.
I've heard it said before from Mayor Eric Hogue and City Manager Mindy Manson, that cutting the tax rate means the city would have to cut services thanks to all the new growth. Whether intentional or unintentional, that statement is a lie.
Growth pays for growth as every new taxable entity begins paying their portion, which should cover services. The cost of city services is a result of how much the city is spending on police, fire, water, trash, sewer, roads, parks and a host of other things.
About four years ago the break even point for Wylie homes was about $220K taxable property value. Hypothetically, even if that number has increased to $260K, most of the new homes are more than covering their portion when they close, and many existing homes reside near that mark. But that number is really just a stab in the dark, and could even be artificially higher based upon all the additional spending the city has taken up through the years. Certainly, our property should be running in the black by now, at this stage of build-out. If it isn't, then the city is seriously mismanaging our budget.
Sure, Wylie has "reduced" the rate a half cent here, a penny there and last year by two full cents, but our taxes still went up. In case you want to do some additional reading, and if my highlighted post on the home page wasn't enough of a draw for you, I've thoroughly explained this phenomena in Wylie Tax Rate Kept Artificially High.
Many people have expressed concern over our tax rate, and want to know what can be done about it. I let them know that our city leaders will wrongfully assume everyone is happy with our taxes, as long as nobody shows up at the city council meetings.
Pinkie-promise, there will be much hand wringing and tap dancing at the dais, if anyone dares suggest a full rollback this year. However, when looking at the anticipated property value increase we are sure to be given again this year, there is no excuse great enough for the city to refuse to give us a rollback to the effective tax rate. None.
I'm not work averse, and I will continue to educate the masses about our tax rate until the city stops mismanaging our money. Because that's what it is when a city refuses to do a rollback to the effective tax rate year, after year, four years and counting.