Here’s an abridged version:
Hidalgo County is starting to turn into that roommate that always wants to borrow some cash, but spent all their money on video games or the newest iPhone.
People who have a lot of money(public officials),are asking you for money(taxes), lots of it(millions), quite often(too damn often).
There are a lot of numbers here so stick with me. Let’s go back to 2013 When STC decided they needed some updates and they hit up taxpayers for 159mil. Two years later they are now about to raise tuition for the 2015 year with the STC President Shirley Reed referring to the students of the RGV as the school’s revenue stream.
UTRGV is looking for 50mil for operation expenses, wants another 50m for a new engineering building AND will be getting a chunk from the proposed healthcare district (page 2) if that passes. The proposed heathcare district still wants a bunch of money after being struck down this past election. Senator Juan Chuy Hinojosa believes it was voted down because the tax cap was too high. This idea is such a cash cow that Valley Baptist Health System CEO Manny Vela and both Eddie Lucios want one and are laying groundwork in Cameron County.
McAllen ISD reduced their initial proposal of 440m, down to 297m, which is about as much as the yearly budget of the entire city of McAllen(page 15). Keep in mind their current yearly budget for maintenance is 20m(page 42). I don’t know if you remember what else cost 20m. After 3 years of iPads at McAllen ISD…well we still don’t know. To be fair they are still weighing the benefits.(Page 88)
It doesn’t sound like much until take a look at these appraisals and the taxes that go with it. It hit the breaking point when the Hidalgo Appraisal District started getting threats! These new proposed taxes are going to be ON TOP of existing taxes which are ON TOP of existing, recently passed taxes that may not have been added yet. Assuming that the appraisal values don’t mysteriously go up AGAIN in a year or two. Remember these bond issues are payed back over decades in which a few rises in property taxes is normal. That, of course, is assuming nothing additional has been implemented via city or county taxes. In other words, it sounds cool now, but are you predicting how taxes will look 3-5 years from now? 5-10 years? 20?
Now try to do the math here, the total amount of money mentioned in this post, and keep in mind the population of Hidalgo County is only about 830k, documented. So let’s split the costs between everyone. Just picture what that number would look like.
All of this proposed money going to schools yet underperforming schools in Hidalgo County have more than doubled in one year. So do we love education or just the business of education? The money is obviously going to the schools, but is the money going to your kids?
You gotta remember, even if you don’t own a home and you aren’t worried about property taxes, your landlord is going to raise your rent because of all this. Not to mention, those who own businesses are going to pass along the costs to you, even if you don’t live in that city.
And don’t misunderstand! This isn’t to scare you into thinking that all taxes are bad. It’s just so easy to say “it’s only a few pennies on the dollar” that it’s easy feel stressed to collapse under the burden if you don’t get a reminder now and again. It’s important to not get carried away with these things. It doesn’t matter how big your wage is if the powers that be decide that you can afford a new tax or tax increase with your new found cash! There is stuff coming we don’t even know about yet. Like…
Hidalgo County wants 157m for a new courthouse.
How did we get here:
The STC Stuff:
The UTRGV Stuff:
The Appraisal Stuff:
City of McAllen and McAllen ISD Stuff:
http://www.mcallenisd.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Gros.Dissertation.3.16.12.pdf (Page 88 has the summary)