Cedar Park Texas Precinct 287, Williamson County
                   Cedar Park, Texas 
-Keeping Central Texas Sane, Not Weird-
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To Fee or Not to Fee, that is the Question


If you agree to a fee, you won't like the end result



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Q: How did we get here?


A: There are multiple reasons that answer this question:


Poor infrastructure construction

Inadequate granting of properly vetted permit/construction request

ANNEXATION without true disclosure of future potential cost

  Poorly approved Planned Unit Developments (PUD)

Deficient long range down stream environmental impact reports 

and more...


It may be easy to point a finger to place blame, but that is irrelevant at this point. We do have a problem, 

and we need to mitigate the problem.


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Let's Recap the Issue


         The City hired marketing consultants.

 

               These consultants are selling you a new city “FEE”.

       

                        This "FEE" will be added to your utility bill as a monthly charge.          

      

            This “FEE” will NEVER go away and will traditionally increase over time.


           Add more debt by  creating  Bonds (debt) that will  pay for  immediate  mitigation.

           

           Create a new bureaucracy within the city to manage, have oversight and enforce regulations.

          

           Storm Water Fee… Impervious Cover Fee… What ever they want to call it, it will be a added TAX that will simply rise over time and you will be forced to pay it!


(it is not by chance that the pyramid above has you and I at the bottom and Uncle Sam on top)




Q: Why are we being led to believe that a Bond and Fee are the only solutions?



A: Again, there are multiple reasons for the answer to this question:



Bonds increase the city debt and provide immediate funding to fix the issues.


Bonds are approved -via propositions- by the people and are paid off over time.


Fees can be enacted by the board members of the corporation of the City, without a vote of the people.

Fees can be routinely evaluated and subsequently increased or decreased by simple vote of the board.


In short,
 
Bonds provide immediate access to funds and place the responsibility on the people.

Fees are politically expedient because they are not construed as taxation. 

(Ergo, elected officials have "cover" and can state accurately that "I never voted to increase taxes".)



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SOLUTIONS to CONSIDER



As stated above, we admit that there are issues that need to be corrected.



The disagreement is with how we fund the mitigation effort and prevent future issues.


Do we add new Fees?

Do we approve more Bonds?

Do we increase taxes?

Do we do nothing?

First, most of the flooding issues that we are being held responsible for are due to the forced ANNEXATION 
of properties. Should we consider dis-annexation? 

Second, the proper design of new construction, re-construction, additions and improvements MUST include 
long range downstream flood mitigation evaluation. Should a fee be added to these permits?

Third, more fees will make our city less affordable and bonds will burden us, our children and our city. Do we 
want Cedar Park to be like our rogue neighbors to the South?

Forth, doing nothing is not an option. The responsibility is on the city to mitigate problems and comply
with State Statues.

Fifth, is it possible to revert our property tax rate to a previous rate?

Sixth, is it possible to consider a slight sales tax increase?

Seventh, is crowd funding or community fund-raising a possibility? (unorthodox? yes. Possibility? sure) 



Additional Considerations on Fees



Watch the complete presentation before the City Council again. 


Pay attention to the Storm System Use chart

 

(2:20 mark in the video) and the Exemption chart (3:20 in the video).



1. Larger Property tends to equal higher impervious cover and more runoff.


2. Optional exemptions include properties that we are ALREADY taxed on:


City Property under City ad valorum tax

County Property under County taxes

School District Property under ISD taxes (already bad enough)


(What will prevent future councils from exempting or not exempting these? What can we expect if they are not exempt? Those taxing 

entities will INCREASE their tax rate.)


3. Under Texas statues for Fees, look who does not have a legal basis for exemption. However, a city can 

provide ad valorem tax exemption if they chose.


4. Hidden fee increases are easily cloaked from public view, but tax rate increases get more visibility.



CONCLUSION

There are OTHER Options. Cedar Park Residence are Highly Intelligent 
and Understand the Issues

Fees are not the ONLY option

Bonds are not the ONLY option

Property Taxes are not the ONLY option

Sales Taxes are not the ONLY option

The Council should direct the Staff to compile data on EVERY option.





 NO STORM WATER RUNOFF Fee! a.k.a. hidden "TAX"


 Open House “PITCH” is  1 June 2016 Cedar Park Parks & Recreation Center 6-9pm.

A second open house will be conducted on 29 June 2016. Same time & place.


Stay up to date by emailing 
please make the Subject block  “Hidden TAX” 
Or CLICK HERE to submit your input.