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CS City Council Asking for Property Tax Increase

02skiag
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http://www.kbtx.com/content/news/CS-City-Council-approve-new-development-at-Chimney-Hill--439776463.html

Property values have increased drastically two years in a row and now they want to increase the tax rate. Are you kidding me?
Ornlu
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Surprise! The government thinks that the government needs more money, for a bigger government!


Snark aside, here's the current property tax rates in central CS:
Entity Description Tax Rate
C2 CITY OF COLL. STAT. 0.472500
CAD APPRAISAL DISTRICT 0.000000
G1 BRAZOS COUNTY 0.485000
S2 COLLEGE STATION ISD 1.396000

So a 2.5cent increase would be a raise in total tax rate from 2.3535% to 2.3785%. On a $500,000 house with no exemptions, that's an extra $125 in taxes per year.

Personally, I don't think a shiny new PDHQ is worth an extra $125/household.
Cyp0111
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College Station still has a very fair tax rate compared to the larger cities.
Captn_Ag05
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Cyp0111 said:

College Station still has a very fair tax rate compared to the larger cities.


Give them a few years.
duffelpud
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Quote:

The city argues that even with the increase, the property tax would still be about 11 cents less than the state average (58.82 cents) among cities with populations between 75,000 and 150,000.

This is just another classic fallacious argument on the part of the 'takers' to propose robbing more from the 'makers' under the cover of the law. I frankly don't care what other cities are getting away with taking from their citizens, especially when College Station raises revenue with numerous and onerous additional 'fees' on everything from permits to utilities.

And get ready for another tax hike - it's in the on-deck circle getting ready to step up to the plate: A NEW TWENTY-EIGHT MILLION DOLLAR CITY HALL.

Quote:

Another significant facility project included in the FY18 Proposed Budget is a New City Hall. The budget includes estimates in FY18 and FY19 for the design of a New City Hall with construction projected for FY20 and FY21. Current forecasts indicate that a tax rate increase will be needed to support the debt service related to the construction of a New City Hall.

If 'the city' wants to find money for pet projects it should start by first cutting the six positions that were being paid for by federal grant money that has dried up. Simply eliminate the positions and put that money back in the budget. As for needing more space, there is a glut of office space available for rent throughout the city. No, it won't be as glamorous as having a shiny new 'city center', but it also won't rob fifty-eight million dollars from the pockets of taxpayers.



runawaytrain
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No thanks.
happyinBCS
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It is insane how the city always wants more, maybe collect property tax from the "non profit" Scott & White hospital it is on the tax rolls for 98 million with a tax bill of 2,300,000 per year of course they pay ZERO. The last time I saw a Doc there the bill seemed to reflect a lot of profit.............just ridiculous
nought
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So what they're saying is, despite the growth of the city for the last several decades, and the associated increase in revenue coming into the city, the city completely failed to plan ahead for any sort of new police station, so now they want the residents to bail them out.

That's like me buying a new car 10 or 15 years ago, using it up for those years, without setting any money aside for the future to buy another new car, and then when I realize I need one, I go to my boss and say "I need a raise because I need a new car".

No. And if the City Council approves it, vote them out the next chance you get.

Remember the old adage "live within your means". It applies to government just as well as to individuals.
nought
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duffelpud said:

Quote:

...
As for needing more space, there is a glut of office space available for rent throughout the city.
...

Seems to me there is a lot of available space in the Chimney Hill shopping center -- seems like it would hold a lot of police. Build-out costs for interior work isn't very much compared to shiny new Taj City Halls and police stations.
lockett93
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Cyp0111 said:

College Station still has a very fair tax rate compared to the larger cities.
College station gets a big chunk of money from the city owned utilities that other cities don't get. Take that money into account and the rate is high in my opinion.

Secondly, many cities with higher rates have much higher homestead exemptions.
MemphisAg1
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Cyp0111 said:

College Station still has a very fair tax rate compared to the larger cities.
2.3% for a town of CS size is still high.

Tennessee, like Texas, has no state income tax. I live in a nice suburb of Memphis with great schools, numerous city parks, great police and fire, and good overall infrastructure.

Comparable to CS. My all-in property tax rate is 1.5%
woodometer
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I applaud the anger I am seeing here because one of our government agencies is raising taxes. I just wish that everyone would show this much anger every single year that every government entity in Brazos County in effect raises taxes when they fool everyone by not raising the tax rate. The property values continue to dramatically increase every year and this year overall by more than 10%.

If they are not lowering the tax rate then you are paying more taxes. You guys in College Station are just getting double punched this year. Your tax appraisals are up 8.2 billion dollars or 14% over last year and the city also wants a 2 cent increase in the rate. Ornlu your tax increase on that 500,000 house is gonna be more than 125.00 when you take into consideration the property value increase. Somehow this craziness has to stop
jello123
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Our-turn-to-rule
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New cars for everyone!! New city hall!! New positions required for our dramatic growth!! Upgrade everything!! We want more!!

CS is a third world banana republic. Sucking on the teat of TAMU, handing out favors to developers, treatment of citizens like crap
Ornlu
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Has any one seen designs for the police department building this tax rate increase is supposedly for? The economic math behind this is nuts.

https://blog.cstx.gov/2017/08/10/fy18-city-budget-spotlights-public-safety-infrastructure/
They budgeted $28M for it, but how big is it? City of Fort Worth (with about 7x our population) has a 196,000 square foot PDHQ. If we need a facility that's 1/7th of the size of theirs, then it'd be 28,000 SF. That's $1,000 per square foot. Even if they're planning a building that's twice that big, that's still way way far out of the metrics supported by RS Means (2014 avg for a police building is $261/SF).

Why the !#$^ does City staff think they need marble-tiled, ornately-furnished, gold-toileted builds? $1,000 PER SQUARE FOOT.



AgGunNut
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The current building is approximately 25k sqft, and people are working out of storage closets and sharing offices. The proposed building would be approximately 70k sqft and is designed to last about 50 years.

The current building would most likely be repurposed for use by other city departments considering city hall is in the same shape as far as available space. Renovation of the current building is not an option; it's been done 2-3 times already. There just isn't enough room around there to expand and still have remotely enough parking.

For those complaining about a new police building, it was decided by the citizen advisory committee, not city management or city council, that it was the most important capital project.

Additionally, when considering cost, things like a jail and specialized construction for the needs of a police department increase cost over generic building construction. Also, cost for parking lot, land prep (especially in the area chosen for the building), etc. increase the cost. Cost per square foot would be an approximation considering the building size and overall scope of the project.

Lastly, the proposed tax increase does not directly pay for the new building. It indirectly does by allowing the city to incur the debt of a $28m project, take on other needed projects, and continue business as usual in a growing community.
deh40
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Cyp0111 said:

College Station still has a very fair tax rate compared to the larger cities.to larger city.
Why compare it to the larger cities? Comparable size cities not far away, Sugar Land is .31595 and The Woodlands is .23. And they are also growing communities as College Station has been described.

AgGunNut
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In all fairness, The Woodlands is not even a municipality. They don't have their own police department, EMS service is contracted through MCHD, etc. Those other taxing entities quickly add up. The Woodlands itself may not have a high property tax, but its residents are paying to other entities.
Ornlu
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Okay, so if it's 70,000 SF and $28,000,000, that's $400 per square foot - which is still 1.5x the national average.

Why does everything CoCS-related have to be gold-plated?
AgGunNut
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I invite you to take a look at the proposed plans. Trust me. It isn't that fancy. It's similar to the one Conroe just finished.

Because the question inevitably comes up about why not keep the building and build a smaller one South? The answers are:

Duplication of services. A second building creates this need over the long run and adds up quickly.

Geographic size. The city's physical size doesn't lend itself to needing a second building. The guys on the street don't directly work out of the building. They're assigned to geographic areas.

If the current building was kept as a police building and a smaller built, an additional city building would be needed sooner to house other city staff.
deh40
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woodometer said:

I applaud the anger I am seeing here because one of our government agencies is raising taxes. I just wish that everyone would show this much anger every single year that every government entity in Brazos County in effect raises taxes when they fool everyone by not raising the tax rate. The property values continue to dramatically increase every year and this year overall by more than 10%.

If they are not lowering the tax rate then you are paying more taxes. You guys in College Station are just getting double punched this year. Your tax appraisals are up 8.2 billion dollars or 14% over last year and the city also wants a 2 cent increase in the rate. Ornlu your tax increase on that 500,000 house is gonna be more than 125.00 when you take into consideration the property value increase. Somehow this craziness has to stop
Yep, Brazos County proposed budget up 24%, but they did not raise rates. Who gets a 24% raise?
Ornlu
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Can you provide a link to those plans? I poked around, and it's not easy to find.
AgGunNut
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I can't. They're not available online from what I know. But they can be requested at City Hall I'm sure. It's obviously public information.
nought
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This reminds me of the Taj City Hall the voters put a stop to several years ago.

Let's say we really do need a $28 million new police building. Why hasn't this been budgeted for and saved for over years, just like ordinary people and businesses have to do when they need to buy something? Who screwed up the planning?

The City has way more money flowing into it now than it did 10 years ago. But, none of it has been set aside for improvements like this?

Again -- live within your means. The City has a certain "salary", determined by our tax rate. That salary automatically adjusts upwards as the city grows and values go up. The rate itself does NOT need to go up. The City already gets more money every year because of growth and value increases.

Guess what my family does if we don't have money for a necessity (I do consider the police to be a necessity). We tighten our belts and cut down on things. Sure, we might not get to go to the movies or to an MSC OPAS event if we have to spend our money on necessities. Likewise, perhaps the City should reconsider its funding of things like the Arts Council if they truly haven't been setting aside enough money for such a basic thing as police.
AgGunNut
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Amen
nought
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AgGunNut said:

The current building is approximately 25k sqft, and people are working out of storage closets and sharing offices. The proposed building would be approximately 70k sqft and is designed to last about 50 years.


Can you explain why we need one that is bigger than 1/3rd the size of the one Fort Worth, a major city, has?
Ornlu
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AgGunNut said:

I invite you to take a look at the proposed plans. Trust me. It isn't that fancy. It's similar to the one Conroe just finished.
Yes, let's look at that project. It cost $26M (and actually finished under budget!) and is 76,000 square feet. So it's bigger, and cheaper too.

http://www.yourconroenews.com/opinion/article/New-Conroe-police-station-needed-to-help-law-9267010.php

Quote:

The funding will come from the capital improvement project budget and be spread out over the next two fiscal years. While we normally would support a bond referendum for voters to approve a project of this magnitude, city officials have been responsible in putting less pressing CIP projects on hold in order to ensure the city stays within its CIP budget and does not raise the debt service and therefore the tax rate.


So, they budgeted appropriately and planned for it in advance! Huh, I guess it is possible after all.
techno-ag
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nought said:

This reminds me of the Taj City Hall the voters put a stop to several years ago.

Let's say we really do need a $28 million new police building. Why hasn't this been budgeted for and saved for over years, just like ordinary people and businesses have to do when they need to buy something? Who screwed up the planning?

The City has way more money flowing into it now than it did 10 years ago. But, none of it has been set aside for improvements like this?

Again -- live within your means. The City has a certain "salary", determined by our tax rate. That salary automatically adjusts upwards as the city grows and values go up. The rate itself does NOT need to go up. The City already gets more money every year because of growth and value increases.

Guess what my family does if we don't have money for a necessity (I do consider the police to be a necessity). We tighten our belts and cut down on things. Sure, we might not get to go to the movies or to an MSC OPAS event if we have to spend our money on necessities. Likewise, perhaps the City should reconsider its funding of things like the Arts Council if they truly haven't been setting aside enough money for such a basic thing as police.
Knocked it out of the park.
AgGunNut
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Fort Worth actually has two, maybe three or four facilities. I know for a fact their crime scene unit is housed out of a separate location, and vehicle processing is done at an even separate location. Neither of those are their main headquarters. They also have an extremely small jail for a city their size and contract with the Mansfield Law Enforcement Center to hold their prisoners. They don't even use the Tarrant County Jail.

As to why the CS facility is planned to be as large as it is slated to be, like I said, it's already past capacity. People work out of storage closets, share offices, and the City currently leases a facility for three PD units (Community Enhancement, Traffic Safety, and Animal Control) at a separate facility. The proposed building would consolidate this, give people in closets an actual work space, and allow for future growth for many years.
AgGunNut
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Don't shoot the messenger. I never said that city administration planned accordingly...whether that on City Hall and/or City Council, it certainly isn't up to the individual city departments. All they can do is express their needs. Luckily, the citizen advisory committee got first hand knowledge as to how over capacity the current facility is and got to voice their concerns.

As for Conroe's building, I don't believe they have a jail facility in theirs (this alone can account for at least $2M). Part of the problem is ever increasing cost of construction. I'm willing to bet if the project had been started when Conroe's was started, it would have been much cheaper.
FlyRod
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Knocked it out of the park.
duffelpud
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Quote:

Luckily, the citizen advisory committee got first hand knowledge as to how over capacity the current facility is and got to voice their concerns.

They got wind of a LOT of pressing needs and voiced their concerns loud and clear - by reaching into the taxpayers' pocketbooks.

Here's what the 'citizen advisory committee' recommended:

Construction of a new police station - $28 million
UPRR grade crossings and roadway improvements - $18 million
Construction of Fire Station No. 7 - $4.9 million
Greens Prairie Road intersection/roadway improvements - $21.2 million
Greens Prairie & Royder roadway safety improvements - $14.9 million
System-wide park improvements - $2.5 million
Neighborhood street safety improvements at Holick, Park Place, Anna and Glade - $2 million
Community center - $15.5 million
Traffic signals - $1.5 million
Sidewalks/oversized participation funds - $750,000
FM 2818 capacity improvement - $2 million
Southeast Community Park development - $20 million
Rock Prairie Road East widening (SH6 to Medical Way) - $1.9 million
Spray park - $500,000
Holleman Drive South widening - $11.5 million
Trails - $6.1 million
Skate park - $900,000
Natatorium - $30 million


Interestingly there's no mention of a new city hall on that list, yet - SHAZAM - it appears in this year's budget with an earmark for another tax increase to pay for it.


BTW, Here are the members of that "citizens" committee - a regular who's-who of local politicos and real estate professionals:

2015 Capital Improvement Projects Citizen Advisory Committee
Chair: Rod Thornton
CoChair: William Smith

Transportation Subcommittee Chair: Tedi Ellison
CoChair: Beverly Kuhn
James Batenhorst
Mark Green
Linda Harvell
Brittan Johnson
Ronald Kaiser

Facilities Subcommittee Chair: Thomas Taylor
CoChair: Kevin McGinnis
Gary Ives
William, Lartigue. Jr.
Scott Raisor
Rene Ramirez
Garland Watson

Parks Subcommittee Chair: Jon Denton
CoChair: Marc Chaloupka
Sherry Ellison
Don Hellriegel
Keith Roberts
Chris Scotti
Dan Stribling
02skiag
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They just got a significant increase in taxes due to property value increases the last two years. If they can't make their budget work from that they need to be replaced.

The citizens are already feeling the burden of those increases, now is an awful time to squeeze them for more money.
techno-ag
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candyland02 said:

They just got a significant increase in taxes due to property value increases the last two years. If they can't make their budget work from that they need to be replaced.

The citizens are already feeling the burden of those increases, now is an awful time to squeeze them for more money.
Brace for an increase in fees sometime in the future, too.

The only good thing out of all this is more people might see the light and move to Bryan.
Oogway
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Good grief, is that supposed to be a wish list where they jot down anything and everything that sounds good or do they seriously expect folks to fund that laundry list?
 
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