PID and TIRZ: double-edged swords

Cooled off a little for a little while…the cenizo is bloomin and usually that means rain in the near future. If not, then the honey bees are benefitting from the blooms.
If you sat in Commissioners Court last week, you would have thought that every item on the Agenda involved spending lots of money. Several did but, the funds were budgeted and not a surprise. Usually, the only surprise expenditures we get are change orders from the company building the Courthouse Annex and the Jail addition and on rare occasions, they don’t include an increase in costs.
Been some concern about PID’s (Public Improvement Districts) and TIRZ’s (Tax Increment Re-investment Zones) and the manner in which they are established. This is a double edged sword. Short version….they take raw land that produces minimal taxes and turn it into homes with infrastructure and streets built to County standards (in some cases above standards). It results in higher tax revenues and provides the developer reimbursement for the improvements for a period of time determined in the agreement. The other side of the blade is that it puts another strain on our school systems, the aquifer and the connecting County roads.
We received bids on constructing a 120′ X 120′ storage building for the Sheriff’s Office. Of the three bids, only one came from a local business. Since it was not the lowest bid, we had to go with one of the others. I feel that local businesses (local taxpayers) should be considered ahead of outside sources, unless ridiculously high, as a means of contributing to the local economy. Just my opinion and I am allowed this.
Didn’t see anybody in Court looking to benefit from the disposition of furniture that will be donated or given away due to furnishing being abandoned when offices moved from the old building to the new building.
We nominated a candidate for election to the Appraisal Board for a 2 year term. I volunteered but, only got funny looks. Don’t think they want me on that Board.
Here’s a little tidbit…Texas Senate Bill #1 in a nutshell: When the Legislature underfunds public education and state-mandated services, local property taxes must be increased to meet the burden. This state budget continues to rely upon an increase in local school taxes to fund public education and lower the state share of this cost. S.B. 1 contains an estimate of a 6.2% increase in local school taxes in the next two years. The state budget fails to meet the need for funding for juvenile probation, indigent criminal defense and attorneys in CPS cases and it will require increases in County property taxes for these mandates.
Read that paragraph again…oughta make you madder’n a Democrat at a Trump rally or a Republican in D.C. This Bill is still in Committee according to the Texas Legislature website. Contact your State Senator or Representative and voice your opinion…or don’t and just sit back and take it. Look at Senate Bill 23 also, it has to do with de-funding the police. Watta buncha maroons…time to put control of the government back in the hands of the people.
I want to thank everyone for the support after last Wednesday, I really appreciate it. Still don’t know where all the illegal immigrants went but, fear not…replacements are on the way.
Only 74 more days till Christmas…