Dear Mayor Williams & Council Members: Wilemon, Wolff, Shepard, Glaspie, Capehart, Parker, Rivera, Victoria Farrar-Meyer,
Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts on the proposed 2017 budget & property tax rate.
The 2017 budget for the city of Arlington is unlike any I have seen in many years. At a time of sizeable property value increases, the proposed city budget provides next to nothing in the way of tax relief for taxpayers.
Over the past five years, the city budget has risen about 17 percent and 7 percent in this one year. Property taxes on the average residence have shot up an astonishing 19 percent. My home included. Meanwhile, the Consumer Price Index from 2012 to 2016 rose only 4.35 percent.
The city is proposing to reduce the tax rate from .648 to .644 – a fraction of a cent. Why such a tiny reduction in the rate?
Our AISD is lowering the rate 2.3 cents. Neighboring Fort Worth, never known for conservative spending policies, is reducing its tax rate by 2 cents. Tarrant County is reducing its rate by one cent. Sadly, the City of Arlington is considering delivering to its citizens a significant property tax increase.
The Council has stated its desire to become much more competitive in all things to attract economic development. I recommend adapting the current effective tax rate $.6057, a 4 cent reduction. The alternate proposal is a 3 cent reduction which accomplishes two goals;
1. Clearly demonstrates Arlington’s willingness to compete with other Metroplex cities.
2. Allows for a very reasonable increase in revenue.
Please keep in mind any amount higher than the effective rate is a property tax increase.
Thank you for your time and consideration.