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City Council of College Station, Tx to raise taxes.

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This is important news for all citizens of the Bryan/College Station area, because of the creeping aspect when bad behavior is unchallenged.

An open letter from Jess Fields:

In this year’s budget, the City of College Station is doing something quite surprising. In spite of rising tax revenue from both property and sales taxes, the city is instituting an enormous tax increase.

The Effective Tax Rate vs. The Proposed Tax Rate

During most recent budgets, the city has adopted the effective tax rate, which is the tax rate necessary to bring in the same amount of revenue on the same property as the prior year, while also allowing for some revenue growth through new property value. Because of the increase in new property value, the city was able to thus reduce the tax rate for the last several years since FY12, all while increasing revenue to the city. It’s hard to see this as much of a “tax cut” considering the increasing property appraisal values that BCS residents have faced with in recent years. Regardless, the rate did decline.

Last year’s approved tax rate was 42.5958 cents per $100 valuation. On a $200,000 home, that’s nearly $852 in city taxes.

In this year’s proposed budget, the proposed tax rate is 45.25 cents per $100 valuation. On a $200,000 home, that’s $905 in city taxes.

The proposed rate is over 6.2% higher than the current tax rate.

But because we know the effective rate brings in at least the same revenue, it’s worth looking at the effective rate also.

The effective rate as calculated for the next fiscal year would be 41.4996 cents per $100 valuation, which would actually be lower than the current rate by over 1 cent.

The proposed rate is over 9% higher than the effective tax rate. In other words, the proposed rate is over 9% higher than it would be if the city followed the same rate calculation formula that it has for the last several years.

But this year, they’re raising taxes. And to be specific, they’re raising tax revenue by 12.57%. This is an enormous increase in government revenue.

Where’s it going?

The budget would have you believe that most of the new revenue from the tax increase is going to public safety. And true to form, there’s an increase for public safety. General fund expenditures for the police department are increasing by 7.9% and the fire department by 10.6%, respectively. OK.

However, there’s also a tremendous – and totally unexpected – increase in the Parks and Recreation Department. To be exact, the Parks and Rec department budget is being increased by 20.9%!

The library budget is also being increased by 5.2%, in spite of a chart in the budget that shows library circulation declining for each of the last 5 years, from 574,454 books to a 2014 estimate of 310,000 books. It’s hard to understand why good money is being thrown after bad.

General government and fiscal services budgets, also paid out of the general fund, are each rising by nearly 9%.

Finally, it is worth noting that overall, salaries and benefits are increasing by 5.1%.

Why is the city raising tax revenue by over 12.5%?

Is it necessary to raise taxes this much, even to the point of increasing the rate itself by over 6% and 9% higher than the effective tax rate? As property appraisals rise, residents of College Station are being hit harder than ever by rising taxes, including from the school district.

Local officials should know that a tax increase on College Station residents is not needed this year. Property tax revenues are rising, as are sales tax revenues. The economy is doing fairly well at the moment. This is NOT the time to be taking more money from College Station’s hardworking taxpayers. This is NOT the time to increase taxes on College Station families and small businesses.

I appreciate your staunch advocacy for liberty and our Constitution. Without you to hold government accountable, who would? As Samuel Adams said, “It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”

May God Bless all of you and your families,

Jess Fields


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