With all the bad publicity surrounding the City of Wylie's high tax rate, there are a few activities of which are guaranteed to take place. Slowly creeping into the landscape are homes showing up on the real estate market. This recent uptick is largely a result of lender notices increasing monthly mortgage payments.
Already strapped from creeping payments over the past four years, homeowners who cannot handle the large increase anticipated this year will be forced to unload their houses as quickly as possible, even selling at reduced prices. This in turn will drive down property values as they scramble to get out from under a mortgage escrow payment they cannot handle.
This scenario is already taking place around town as new homes are showing up for sale in established neighborhoods. In my neighborhood alone, there are three new listings and the one next door to me was just reduced by $20K.
As taxes increase, families are being forced from their homes because they simply cannot afford the compounding mortgage payment increases year after year, a direct result of Wylie's bloated tax rate.
To let this situation foment, Wylie Mayor Eric Hogue comes across as unethical, unsympathetic and elitist as he sits at his isolated dais fortress, passing off tax increases as tax cuts four years running. It is insulting when he bemoans them like he is just one of the homeowners, yet does nothing to lower the burden.
Unwitting council members seem perplexed by the situation and are perpetuating this scam through these tiny incremental decreases.
The fact is, taxes have been dramatically escalating as the Collin County Central Appraisal District (CAD) continues to increase property valuations year after year. Though the market is partially responsible, the toxic combination of maxed out CAD appraisals and a mayor and city council who refuse to budge has made the past several years unbearable for taxpayers.
The council has banked on most people absorbing these increases year after year, which went relatively unnoticed as taxpayers wrongly believed they were altruistic in giving to Caesar. They failed to understand how city finances work and that Caesar was getting more than his fair share. It wasn't until the CAD started hitting taxpayers with 10% increases in property values that they took note. Last year it wasn't as painful though, because of the increase in homestead exemption, but this year there is no way to hide from the situation, which is why taxpayers are fuming.
Taxpayers are demanding the city adopt the effective tax rollback to lower our taxes this year, which Wylie has never done in modern times. Not only are taxpayers asking for a full rollback, but they want an additional few cents off as well. For the city, this is uncharted waters.
Still, it is important to note that though there have always been homes for sale in Wylie, the majority of homeowners are still here since the massive growth period between 2001 and 2010. These homeowners are still the type of people who can only afford their $130K-230K houses purchased during that time-frame. Between the lean years of 2010-2012, housing starts were very low and not much was happening in the market, but when developers came back to town starting in 2013, the market bounded. Though home values began steadily increasing, a magic wand wasn't waved to suddenly increase taxpayers' incomes. Property values have increased $60-80K since the boom but people's salaries haven't necessarily recovered from the sagging economy.
Another facet to this cruel and unusual tax punishment is that Wylie's council is starting to appear elitist. Their continued tax increase for four solid years means they are allowing, nay almost welcoming current homeowners to leave if they cannot afford the increase in taxes. In ignoring taxpayer pleas to dramatically lower the tax rate over the past four years, it says that our mayor and council would rather welcome seemingly new, wealthier homeowners who are unwittingly moving in and becoming disenfranchised. Hogue has escaped mass public scrutiny up until now, but that has likely come to an end with a whole new volunteer pool the new homes brought in, that may be willing to run against him if he doesn't get on the rollback train.
All a rollback means is that the city has to work within the same budget as the previous year. It doesn't mean taking funds from the rainy day fund either. It means towing the line on frivolous spending. With the revenue windfall they have been receiving from retail sales tax, that shouldn't be difficult for them to accomplish. They got us into this mess, they need to get us out.
|2016 City of Wylie CAFR|
As for mayor, he appears to be nothing more than a sadistic puppet master, toying with strings and hoping nobody notices. And to be completely honest, council isn't very well thought of either from comments on Nextdoor and Facebook.
"The appraised value is not the problem, it is the ridiculous high city and school tax we pay in Wylie. Wylie's city council and Mayor are out of control and yet we just re-elected the mayor without any opposition. Go figure."Another sentiment:
"The WEDB and school Board are all crooks in my book. Why don't they just go door to door with a sack and collect cash. Would be faster."The shameful truth is, people have lost respect for our city leaders:
"Just because businesses move in, doesn't mean my Disability Check is increasing. Guess the county/city want us old folks to move so they can grab hold of younger, higher paid, upwardly mobile citizens."Just where did our mayor get his moxie and dancing monkeys from anyway? Oh yes, voters who rarely did due diligence in the past as they made selections based upon the good old boy system. Shamefully less than 4% routinely came out to vote through the years.
If there is any good news that can come out of this tax situation its that it seems likely the voting power is about to change hands from an apathetic group, to a population unafraid of combating the mayor and council.
Photo credit: visit grand forks