Another City Council meeting, another cubic yard of manure. From our English language daily:
The city will issue an extra $15.5 million in debt to build the second phase of the East Side sports complex, which officials said will be paid back by future property owners in the area without impacting the overall city tax rate.
“The only individuals that will be impacted are people who choose to live in the area,” said Robert Cortinas, director of the Office of Management and Budget. “There’s no impact to the tax rate.”
The city will issue certificates of obligation, or debt [that] doesn’t require voter approval and are normally repaid with property tax revenue, for the project. In this instance, the debt will be repaid with revenue generated by Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 9 and a Public Improvement District that were created earlier this year, Cortinas said.
There are currently no homes in the zones, but Cortinas said a consulting firm projected that about 2,200 homes will be built there in the next 12 years.
Here’s an excerpt from the ordinance they passed:
Whereas, the [Texas Tax Code] Act provides that a governing body of a municipality by ordinance may designate a noncontiguous geographic area that is within the limits of the municipality to be a reinvestment zone if the governing body determines that development or redevelopment would not occur solely through private investment in the foreseeable future . . . .
Did City Council decide that the “consulting firm” wasn’t reliable? Or that homes wouldn’t be built there unless there was a mega-park nearby? Of course the park was already going to be there. They’ve already built two fifths of it.
“We don’t anticipate any issues with generating revenue, and in fact; it’s quite the opposite,” Cortinas said. “We are projecting around year five or six that we’ll actually start to see an increase (and) more revenue being generated than what’s needed for the debt payment.”
Under the Public Improvement District, homeowners in the area would pay $3,000 in fees to be used for improvements within the district itself, including the complex. Those homeowners would have the option of paying $200 per year for 15 years.
I guess that extra $200 a year makes that area more attractive for prospective homebuyers. You know, reverse price elasticity, where the more you charge, the more consumers buy. Maybe that’s the City’s whole philosophy, to give the city the allure of exclusivity.
East Side city Rep. Dr. Michiel Noe said he does not anticipate any issues in generating revenue.
“Going by past performance, there’s no concerns (about) people moving to the East Side. We can’t build homes fast enough,” Noe said.
This park is Representative Dr. Noe’s legacy project. It may, someday, bear his name.
His statement regarding the housing boom on the East Side seems to indicate that maybe development would occur solely through private investment in the foreseeable future, contrary to the stipulations of the Texas Tax Code as cited in the ordinance itself.
Those Quality of Life projects have their own aroma. It’s kind of like our City Reps stepped in dog poo, and they’re trying to get it off by walking around the house.
As far as the lies the City perpetrates on the citizens, this one is pretty mild. No harm, no foul. But bending the letter of the law does seem to be standard operating procedure for the City Attorney’s office.