Rockwall resident Loafman: vote AGAINST $59.4 million bond package
Letter to the Editor:
I oppose the $59.4 million bond package Rockwall voters will consider May 12. While the propositions in the package vary in merit, asking Rockwall property owners to support additional debt under current economic conditions is undesirable if not irresponsible.
The people of Rockwall already pay very high property taxes. In 2012, according to Tax-Rates.org, Rockwall taxpayers will pay 2.16% of their property’s value in taxes. Of 3,145 counties in the U.S., only 56 have higher taxes. That puts us in the top 1.8% in the country! According to Forbes.com, only four Texas counties have higher property taxes, and only one is in North Texas (Collin County.) As a percentage of income, however, Rockwall County has the highest property taxes in the state, at 4.58% of median annual income.
Proponents tell voters 65 and over that their property taxes won’t be affected. True, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be affected. As Rockwall grows, every dime we spend on unnecessary things will be unavailable for critical infrastructure, police and fire protection, roads, schools, utilities, and public transportation.
Proponents of the package mention its total cost, worst case, is only 15.6¢ per $100 property valuation (a 30% increase.) But that’s an annual cost of $285.80 to the owner of a property at the median value of $183,200 (again according to Tax-Rates.org.) The athletic complex alone would cost the same taxpayer $120.90. To proponents that may not seem like much, but if one put that money in a 5-year CD at 1.8% instead, at the end of the 20-year bond term, they would have accumulated $27,447. Alternatively, if the city took that money out of our pockets right now to pay the bonds, it would cost each taxpayer $14,400.
I don’t opposed nice sports facilities. In fact, I don’t oppose any of the improvements these bonds would support. I do oppose the unnecessary incurrence of additional debt when there is such uncertainty regarding international markets, federal debt and leadership, and the substantial economic adversity that average families in Rockwall currently face. Rejecting these bonds now doesn’t mean we can’t re-visit the issue when things improve.
Please vote AGAINST the bond package, or at least consider each proposal on its necessity and vote AGAINST those that can wait.