On Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, the City Council had decided what tax rate they would publish in the newspapers. Once it is published the city will hold two public hearings on the tax rate. At these hearings the residents can voice their opinions about the published rate. Finally, the Council will vote on the new tax rate for 2019 in September of this year.
The tax rate they had agreed to be published was a rate of 0.4603 cents per $100 of assessed value for property taxes for 2019. It was a compromise between the current tax rate of $0.4686 and the effective tax rate of 0.4405 suggested by Councilman Ron Kelly. So, what does this possible new rate mean for taxpayers? It means, if this rate passes, your city taxes will go up again in January; however, the good news is, your taxes won't go up as much as they would have if the rate was kept at 0.4686 cents.
To arrive at the rate of 0.4603 Councilman Kelly took the effective rate of 0.4405 and added population growth (.8%) and the rate of inflation (3.7%) according to the Municipal Cost Index. According to the US Labor Department, however, the current inflation rate is 2.9% from July 2017 to July 2018.
Councilman Kelly stated his tax rate formula has been used by other cities in an effort to validate his method, yet the Mayor was not in favor of lowering the rate or using the above formula. Council members Prince, Kelly, Harrison, Smith and, Ricciardelli, though, all agreed to publish the rate of 0.4603 in the papers.
Some residents who spoke at the Aug. 13th meeting had said they did not mind keeping the rate the same as last year. I guess those in favor of the 2018 rate can afford a higher tax bill in 2019. If they want to pay more, the City Treasury would be happy to take a donation, but other residents are struggling to pay their property tax bills now and need a lowered tax rate for 2019.
For the last 5 years, city property tax bills have gone up about 35%; however,
inflation has only gone up about 8%. Furthermore, since 2014, spending in General
Government has gone up 69.5%; that is almost double than any other Plano City
Department (See Chart). Unfortunately, resident wages have not gone up 69.5% or
35% over the same time period. If this trend of tax and spend keeps going on, in another 5 years property taxes will go up about 70% and the General Government will go up 139%. Imagine having to pay almost double the amount of taxes in 2023 then you did in 2014. For a middle-class family, this is unsustainable; some residents worry they will be taxed out of their homes and out of Plano. If the City Council continues to tax residents as they currently are, the only people who will be able to afford to own a home in Plano will be the rich and seniors who get a tax freeze now. However, middle-class families will be forced out.
If you need the City Council to slow the rate of spending, save your house, and cut the rate 0.3 cents, go to the following link:
We will be doing an article on where to reduce government spending soon.
This is Plano's Political Pit Bull Signing Off.