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#1 Austin55

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 05:37 PM

A group seems to have recently been started to advocate better local transit. 

 

https://facebook.com...20704437985119/

 

 

From their page

 

 

If you have expressed an interest in supporting transit in Fort Worth now is your opportunity to step up.

It's official, the Tarrant Transit Alliance has been formed to advocate for better transit in Tarrant County. And we need your help!

On Tuesday, September 12 at 7:00 pm City Council will have a hearing on the city budget. We are gathering community partners like YOU to help us advocate for at least one penny of property tax revenue decrease to be spent funding The T Master Plan.

Will you join us on Tuesday night?
Click Here to add your name to our supporter list and be the first to hear about all updates:

https://andrea871.ty...m.com/to/ftH4ds

To help you prepare to speak, we are holding a brief meeting on Monday night, September 11 at 6:30 at Amphibian Productions to pass out talking points and register to speak.
Let me know if you can speak on Tuesday night and if you want to join us on Monday.

Thanks for your support of better Transit in Tarrant County!

 



#2 Austin55

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 03:40 PM

What does everyone think of this plan?



#3 Jeriat

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 08:13 PM

Currently following. 

They're basically calling for a 1 cent tax?


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#4 JBB

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 08:32 PM

I think it's great, but where is the 1 cent going to come from?



#5 renamerusk

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 11:11 AM

I think it's great, but where is the 1 cent going to come from?

 

A 1-cent tax/gallon on gasoline, other petroleum products, auto parts and supplies purchased within Tarrant County should received some consideration.



#6 Electricron

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 11:30 AM

I think it's great, but where is the 1 cent going to come from?

 
A 1-cent tax/gallon on gasoline, other petroleum products, auto parts and supplies purchased within Tarrant County should received some consideration.
The State doesn't give the City or County the ability to tax fuel and auto parts - they set the tax on those items. You would have to change the state law to tax those items at different rates throughout the state. Good luck!

You will be better off looking at raising the tax rates on items the State allows Cities and Counties to tax.

Tax and spend politics eventually reaches a point where you run out of things and people to tax. We'll be better off prioritizing what we spend our money on, then ensuring we are generating the revenues to do that. Keeping the tax rates steady and growing the economy is always far more sustainable than just increasing taxes to meet the immediate needs.

#7 renamerusk

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 12:18 PM

 

 

I think it's great, but where is the 1 cent going to come from?

 
A 1-cent tax/gallon on gasoline, other petroleum products, auto parts and supplies purchased within Tarrant County should received some consideration.

The State doesn't give the City or County the ability to tax fuel and auto parts - they set the tax on those items. You would have to change the state law to tax those items at different rates throughout the state. Good luck!...You will be better off looking at raising the tax rates on items the State allows Cities and Counties to tax.

 

 

The State under the current period has been over reaching and has exerted more regulatory control of local jurisdictions than it needs be.   Perhaps the county can raise the funds through a special assessment tax to create the Tarrant Transit Utility Authority.



#8 JBB

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 02:35 PM

I'm assuming that the one cent sales tax the group is proposing is part of the city sales tax and that was my point in asking where it will come from.  The city is at the sales tax cap, so the money will have to come from the general fund or the CCPD will have to be suspended.  I realize there are other ways to come up with the money.



#9 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 05:49 PM

I'm confused by what the Tarrant Transit Alliance is advocating for.

 

Are they advocating for one percent of property tax being dedicated to transit? What do they mean by "of property tax revenue decrease" ?


- Dylan


#10 Keller Pirate

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 06:05 PM

Exactly, is Fort Worth considering a property tax rate cut? The wording of their proposal doesn't sound real professional. Also, by the time the next years budget comes up for a public hearing it is cast in stone. The public can make whatever suggestions they want but it will fall on deaf ears.

#11 Austin55

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 06:30 PM

Exactly, is Fort Worth considering a property tax rate cut?


Tarrant County is.

http://dfw.cbslocal....ant-county/amp/

 

Edit - See Volare's post below.



#12 Volare

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 10:34 PM

This is the CITY property tax that we are talking about. Last year, the City decreased the tax rate by 2 cents per $100 valuation. They did this because valuations have increased so much that they have to lower the rate otherwise they bring in too much tax revenue. This year they are looking at a 3 cent per $100 decrease in the rate.

 

This proposal would reduce this decrease from 3 cents to 2, matching last years decrease, and allocating that extra 1 cent to transit.



#13 johnfwd

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 08:45 AM

Exactly, is Fort Worth considering a property tax rate cut? The wording of their proposal doesn't sound real professional. Also, by the time the next years budget comes up for a public hearing it is cast in stone. The public can make whatever suggestions they want but it will fall on deaf ears.

I feel the same way about this group's proposal.  When I initially saw the group's name I thought they were promoting streetcar service.  I don't oppose additional revenue for the T Master Plan, but isn't that the responsibility of the City Council via the budget process?  Does the Council need an advocacy group to help them decide on additional funding?



#14 Doohickie

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 02:57 PM

I feel the same way about this group's proposal.  When I initially saw the group's name I thought they were promoting streetcar service.  I don't oppose additional revenue for the T Master Plan, but isn't that the responsibility of the City Council via the budget process?  Does the Council need an advocacy group to help them decide on additional funding?


Of course not, but lots of advocacy/lobbying groups exist with the purpose of promoting their agendas with government decision-makers.


My blog: Doohickie

#15 Volare

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 08:32 PM

The Police force is taking in ~$90 million dollars this year from the CCPD- the 1/2 cent of sales tax that is diverted to fund things like police cars and helipads. In contrast, this 1 cent of property taxes we are talking about here is worth about $6 million per year.

 

http://www.star-tele...e172727811.html

 

"The city funds the T with a half-cent of the city’s sales tax. In 2017, the amount was about $68 million. Austin, which is a little larger in population than Fort Worth, spends $199 million on its public transportation. Dallas spends $538 million."

 

And we wonder why we can't have nice things.

 

 



#16 Austin55

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:15 AM

I went to the meeting tonight. A few T officials,
TCC staff, Zedah , about 20 community members were there. Some good points made.

I hope they succeed tomorrow in getting a little extra funding.

#17 Electricron

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 02:16 AM

"The city funds the T with a half-cent of the city’s sales tax. In 2017, the amount was about $68 million. Austin, which is a little larger in population than Fort Worth, spends $199 million on its public transportation. Dallas spends $538 million."

 

And we wonder why we can't have nice things.

 

 

Both Austin and Dallas are funded with a full penny sales tax rate, not a half penny. Fort Worth could double its funding by getting a full penny sale tax referendum win. But the city council is unlikely to approve loosing $68 million in revenues. 

 

The appropriate time to do so was back when they had the referendum for the half penny sales tax.  Once FWTA showed disinterest, the city found other ways to use the remaining half penny sales tax. Few politicians will leave a tax capability idle, there are going to finds ways to use it. 



#18 Austin55

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 11:23 PM

The council voted to continue the case to the next meeting. 



#19 Jeriat

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 06:57 AM

The council voted to continue the case to the next meeting. 

When's that?


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#20 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:06 PM

 

"The city funds the T with a half-cent of the city’s sales tax. In 2017, the amount was about $68 million. Austin, which is a little larger in population than Fort Worth, spends $199 million on its public transportation. Dallas spends $538 million."

 

And we wonder why we can't have nice things.

 

 

Both Austin and Dallas are funded with a full penny sales tax rate, not a half penny. Fort Worth could double its funding by getting a full penny sale tax referendum win. But the city council is unlikely to approve loosing $68 million in revenues. 

 

The appropriate time to do so was back when they had the referendum for the half penny sales tax.  Once FWTA showed disinterest, the city found other ways to use the remaining half penny sales tax. Few politicians will leave a tax capability idle, there are going to finds ways to use it. 

 

 

A regional vote to create a regional DFW transit agency failed in 1980.

 

Maybe I'm wrong, but I read somewhere that Fort Worth figured transit was more likely to pass if it were only a half-cent, and if they attached a half-cent of funding for police. That would have been in 1983.


- Dylan


#21 renamerusk

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:37 PM

A regional vote to create a regional DFW transit agency failed in 1980....Maybe I'm wrong, but I read somewhere that Fort Worth figured transit was more likely to pass if it were only a half-cent, and if they attached a half-cent of funding for police. That would have been in 1983.

 

 

 Now that AT&T Stadium and Rangers Ballpark are set, Arlington might be ready for a Tarrant Transit Alliance.  A regional alliance beyond Tarrant County would not be popular in Arlington in light of its brawls with Dallas. 

 

A county wide alliance would also make sense for funding and maintaining public safety.  One county wide office would eliminate the need to have a dozen or so individual public safety agencies.



#22 Electricron

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 01:09 AM

 Now that AT&T Stadium and Rangers Ballpark are set, Arlington might be ready for a Tarrant Transit Alliance.  A regional alliance beyond Tarrant County would not be popular in Arlington in light of its brawls with Dallas. 

 

A county wide alliance would also make sense for funding and maintaining public safety.  One county wide office would eliminate the need to have a dozen or so individual public safety agencies.

As someone else pointed out, a half penny sale tax will generate many times more revenues than a penny property tax rate hike. If Arlington was serious about a transit alliance with either Fort Worth or Dallas it has two choices it could join today; (1) FWTA and (2) DART. 

Counties aren't allowed by the state law to charge a sales tax, only cities can. FWTA and DART can negotiate and make contracts with anyone, including non-member cities. Grapevine has such an agreement with FWTA. There's nothing stopping Arlington from making a similar agreement. 

We don't need a new funding mechanism or new transit agencies to expand existing transit agencies to the boondocks. What's needed is for Arlington and other cities to realize having a transit agency for public transit is worth the loss of money required to subsidize the transit agency, be it a sales tax or by other means from their existing budget. It's hard for any city to cut other programs to join or create a transit agency. 



#23 Austin55

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 09:57 AM

 

The council voted to continue the case to the next meeting. 

When's that?

 

 

 

Tuesday Sept 19th. The budget is being adopted that meeting, so I assume that's the last chance to make this happen. 



#24 renamerusk

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:21 AM

As someone else pointed out, a half penny sale tax will generate many times more revenues than a penny property tax rate hike. If Arlington was serious about a transit alliance with either Fort Worth or Dallas it has two choices it could join today; (1) FWTA and (2) DART. 

 

 You can rule out choice #2.

 

 There are many fractures, both within DART and from outside of DART that would make it highly unlikely that Arlington would be invited to join DART or that Arlington would agree to pay the entrance fee to join DART.  Enough that it would take a thread to itself to explain.



#25 Electricron

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 05:30 PM

As someone else pointed out, a half penny sale tax will generate many times more revenues than a penny property tax rate hike. If Arlington was serious about a transit alliance with either Fort Worth or Dallas it has two choices it could join today; (1) FWTA and (2) DART.

 
 You can rule out choice #2.
 
 There are many fractures, both within DART and from outside of DART that would make highly unlikely that Arlington would be invited to join DART or would seek an invitation to join DART.  Enough that it would take a thread to itself to explain.
I will not disagree, but the choice belongs to Arlington.

#26 renamerusk

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 05:56 PM

 

 

As someone else pointed out, a half penny sale tax will generate many times more revenues than a penny property tax rate hike. If Arlington was serious about a transit alliance with either Fort Worth or Dallas it has two choices it could join today; (1) FWTA and (2) DART.

 
 You can rule out choice #2.
 
 There are many fractures, both within DART and from outside of DART that would make highly unlikely that Arlington would be invited to join DART or would seek an invitation to join DART.  Enough that it would take a thread to itself to explain.

 

I will not disagree, but the choice belongs to Arlington.

 

And the acrimony that has occurred between Dallas and Arlington will make that choice tough.  Will Arlington pay to get into DART?  Its like Brexit in reverse.



#27 renamerusk

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 06:07 PM

I'm confused by what the Tarrant Transit Alliance is advocating for.

 

Are they advocating for one percent of property tax being dedicated to transit? What do they mean by "of property tax revenue decrease" ?

 

 If TTA is advocating for a rail network for Tarrant County, then it will have my support.  FWTA can continue to do commuter rail and bus as this seem to be its top priority; it can continue to be a quasi agency to DART.

 

A Tarrant Rail Agency could work parallel to FWTA.  It might attract some cities that are more interested in rail, Arlington, HEB and of course Fort Worth.  Is there actually a law prohibiting multiple transportation agencies within the same jurisdiction.

 

I believe that TTA is an indication of the amount of frustration with the T.  If anything, it is a wake up call for FWTA.



#28 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 06:25 PM

There are other U.S. cities that have a setup similar to what you suggest, but I'm not sure I'd want that here. It would make fares more confusing.

 

I'm not sure how much interest Hurst or Bedford would have in joining, as they essentially already have a rail station. If Arlington or Euless were to join, a new station could open along the existing TRE line at Collins / Industrial.

 

That said, if Arlington decides a regional rail agency is how they want to build a new commuter rail line, or if such an agency were to serve the entire county, I'd have to get behind your proposal.


- Dylan


#29 renamerusk

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 06:32 PM

There are other U.S. cities that have a setup similar to what you suggest, but I'm not sure I'd want that here. It would make fares more confusing.

 

I'm not sure how much interest Hurst or Bedford would have in joining, as they essentially already have a rail station. If Arlington or Euless were to join, a new station could open along the existing TRE line at Collins / Industrial.

 

That said, if Arlington decides a regional rail agency is how they want to build a new commuter rail line, or if such an agency were to serve the entire county, I'd have to get behind your proposal.

 

 I think that Arlington would get on board with Fort Worth if it has equal representation; and why shouldn't it have.  I believe Arlington is looking to being apart of a transit agency, just not DART or FWTA; it will have to be new.  TTA fits that scenario.


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#30 JBB

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 06:55 PM

TTA is advocating more money for The T, not a new county wide agency.

#31 Electricron

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 08:19 AM

 Is there actually a law prohibiting multiple transportation agencies within the same jurisdiction.

Yes, there is. Check out all the various sections (chapters) of the Texas Transportation Codes.....

The reason, to avoid being taxed twice for the same purpose (transit). 



#32 renamerusk

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 01:29 PM

 

 Is there actually a law prohibiting multiple transportation agencies within the same jurisdiction.

Yes, there is. Check out all the various sections (chapters) of the Texas Transportation Codes.....

The reason, to avoid being taxed twice for the same purpose (transit). 

 

  Maybe then an authority, like the North Texas Turnpike Authority, purposed to build rail within the county.  I don't believe that NTTA has taxing powers, right?



#33 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 05:15 PM

We already have a transit agency to build commuter rail in this county. It's just unfortunate some of our suburbs don't want to be part of it.


- Dylan


#34 renamerusk

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 07:08 PM

We already have a transit agency to build commuter rail in this county. It's just unfortunate some of our suburbs don't want to be part of it.

 

 It would appear that there is some dissatisfaction with the way that that transit agency is doing its job.



#35 Austin55

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 07:15 PM

The dissatisfaction is they aren't funded enough to do thier job.

#36 renamerusk

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 07:34 PM

The dissatisfaction is they aren't funded enough to do thier job.

 

 I understand that the allowable taxing ceiling is already maxed out for Fort Worth and Arlington.  If so, advocating for additional funding will mean defunding of other priorities.  TTA will have to look for alternative funding authority and that authority can look like NTTA, TRA or the likes.  Like NTTA, who authorization is to build and managed highways, tunnels and bridges in conjunction with the TDOT, an parallel authority could be authorized to build light rail or streetcar transit.  Is there a mandate that FWTA is the sole agency responsible for all public transportation development or management?

 

If TTA wants to do a specific project, say a private light rail line between Arlington and Fort Worth, it will have my support.



#37 Electricron

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:50 AM



 



The dissatisfaction is they aren't funded enough to do thier job.

 

 I understand that the allowable taxing ceiling is already maxed out for Fort Worth and Arlington.  If so, advocating for additional funding will mean defunding of other priorities.  TTA will have to look for alternative funding authority and that authority can look like NTTA, TRA or the likes.  Like NTTA, who authorization is to build and managed highways, tunnels and bridges in conjunction with the TDOT, an parallel authority could be authorized to build light rail or streetcar transit.  Is there a mandate that FWTA is the sole agency responsible for all public transportation development or management?

 

If TTA wants to do a specific project, say a private light rail line between Arlington and Fort Worth, it will have my support.

 

FWTA is authorized to build rail lines, highways, and parking facilities, TTA is authorized to build turnpikes - not rail. 

Take the time to read the Texas Transportation Code...usually the fist few sections of the related chapters defines what that type of transit agency can do....

http://codes.findlaw...portation-code/

FWTA falls under Chapter 451. Chapter 365 covers Toll Roads. 



#38 renamerusk

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 09:18 AM

 



 

The dissatisfaction is they aren't funded enough to do thier job.

 

 I understand that the allowable taxing ceiling is already maxed out for Fort Worth and Arlington.  If so, advocating for additional funding will mean defunding of other priorities.  TTA will have to look for alternative funding authority and that authority can look like NTTA, TRA or the likes.  Like NTTA, who authorization is to build and managed highways, tunnels and bridges in conjunction with the TDOT, an parallel authority could be authorized to build light rail or streetcar transit.  Is there a mandate that FWTA is the sole agency responsible for all public transportation development or management?

 

If TTA wants to do a specific project, say a private light rail line between Arlington and Fort Worth, it will have my support.

 

FWTA is authorized to build rail lines, highways, and parking facilities, TTA is authorized to build turnpikes - not rail. 

Take the time to read the Texas Transportation Code...usually the fist few sections of the related chapters defines what that type of transit agency can do....

 

FWTA falls under Chapter 451. Chapter 365 covers Toll Roads.

 

"And is that the absolute final word?"

 

The thing that will prevent the establishment of any agency is politics;  it is why the City Council is and has the first say.  However if enough grassroot support materializes and politicians join with the TTA, then there is no reason with proper backing that an attempt can be made to create and secure law for an agency that is authorized to build a light rail. 

 

I believe that FWTA has been more focused upon building the commuter rail at the expense of even developing a conceptual plan for a local rail transit system for Fort Worth Proper.  The frustrations coming from the prioritization of the CR, the proportion of funding by the City, and the fact that all other major Texas cities have light rail in existence or on the drawing board adds to a new urgency to look at an alternate way to make rail transit a reality in Fort Worth and possibly Arlington.

 

Yes, the odds are high against TTA. What TTA has done is organize the frustration held by groups within Tarrant County about the lack of progress.  It has blindsided FWTA and it may also force FWTA to think more locally than regionally.  I am happier now with TexRail than earlier; I believed that FWTA was being influenced by DART to focus on CR.  TTA is a statement to FWTA to get local transit built; and if not, TTA will get the City to make funding happen, either through prioritizing it over other tax distributions or by encouraging the City to seek another alternative.  NTTA is a model of getting roads built without adding additional taxes; such an approach for a specific purpose as a Tarrant County Rail Line seems worthy of pursuing. 

 

In legislation, authorization sunsets and before its ending, it had a sunrise.   In this way, FWTA is vulnerable as is almost all forms of authorization; can be changed or limited.

 

 

 

 

 



#39 JBB

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 01:47 PM

How have we made the leap from TTA being a lobbying group pushing for the city to divert a penny of the property tax to The T to it being a whole other transportation authority?

#40 renamerusk

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:19 PM

How have we made the leap from TTA being a lobbying group pushing for the city to divert a penny of the property tax to The T to it being a whole other transportation authority?

 

Simple.  My understanding is that funding limits have been reached; and that the alternative is to redirect the funds from existing purposes or find a new way to fund any success that TTA as a lobbyist may achieve.  I received this understanding from reading a thread that has been discussed in depth in the Forum.

 

Do you know of an acceptable plan where upon already dedicated funds can be redirected to The T?

 

I am suggesting that it may be possible to create a new authority capable of issuing capital bonds to fund a street car or a light rail line; something that is done by NTTA.  Until it is definitive that such an authority can not be created, then I will try brainstorming to find some way that the authority can be created and funded. 

 

In the interim, a conceptual name of the new authority could be the Tarrant County Rail Transit Authority; and why not?



#41 Austin55

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:32 PM

 

How have we made the leap from TTA being a lobbying group pushing for the city to divert a penny of the property tax to The T to it being a whole other transportation authority?

 

Simple.  My understanding is that funding limits have been reached; the alternative is to redirect the funds from existing purposes or find a new way to fund any lobbying success that TTA may achieve.  

 

The new funding is coming from a tax cut, not from another resource.



#42 renamerusk

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:34 PM

 

 

How have we made the leap from TTA being a lobbying group pushing for the city to divert a penny of the property tax to The T to it being a whole other transportation authority?

 

Simple.  My understanding is that funding limits have been reached; the alternative is to redirect the funds from existing purposes or find a new way to fund any lobbying success that TTA may achieve.  

 

The new funding is coming from a tax cut, not from another resource.

 

 

Tax cut.  Who will bare the cost associated with a tax cut?

 

So, to avoid the acrimony of reducing services and belt tightening, it would be preferable to build a transit rail network without hurting the other services.  Toll roads do just that, build much needed highways while not taxing the general public; and it does so by not having cities or counties make reductions through tax cutting.  I think it is an acceptable mechanism to get much needed infrastructure.



#43 JBB

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:35 PM

In their original budget, the council lowered the property tax rate by 3 cents for the next fiscal year. At the urging of TTA and Ann Zadeh, the council voted to lower the rate by 2 cents instead and divert the 1 cent that they put back into the budget to The T. That's the acceptable plan for redirecting funds to The T. Other than your posts here, there has been nary a mention of creating a new transit agency to operate outside of The T's umbrella.

http://www.star-tele...e173661886.html

#44 renamerusk

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:57 PM

In their original budget, the council lowered the property tax rate by 3 cents for the next fiscal year. At the urging of TTA and Ann Zadeh, the council voted to lower the rate by 2 cents instead and divert the 1 cent that they put back into the budget to The T. That's the acceptable plan for redirecting funds to The T. Other than your posts here, there has been nary a mention of creating a new transit agency to operate outside of The T's umbrella.

http://www.star-tele...e173661886.html

 

Is there anything wrong the having a different perspective being posted? 



#45 JBB

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 03:01 PM

Not at all. I don't think I suggested that. It just appeared that you weren't aware of what was actually happening. My apologies if I misunderstood.

#46 renamerusk

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 03:04 PM

Not at all. I don't think I suggested that.

 

Well maybe implied is a better description.



#47 renamerusk

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 04:10 PM

Not at all. I don't think I suggested that. It just appeared that you weren't aware of what was actually happening. My apologies if I misunderstood.

 

A tax cut is goes across the board.

 

How successful do you believe will be the efforts of the TTA to get the funds when it can be said that it will hurt public safety.  There is a reason why 1/2 cent is only allocated to The T.  One reason may be that the other 1/2 is allocated to public safety/police.  If you cut taxes, do you not cut police service?

 

A tax cut is across the board.   Isn't this simply "Robbing Peter to pay Paul"?

 

Sometime, a city must be willing to pay for special projects without cutting back on other services.  If you want to end funds for other services and use those funds for another purpose, be honest and realistic about whom you may be harming just to improve services in another area.

 

Tax cutting is easy candy given out by politicians to the taxpayers.  I want transit and I want public safety.  I am willing to pay for both and if not, I think an alternate funding mechanism should be considered.  I think that the debate is more honest when we fully understand our choices.

 

Don't like my alternative? Give me yours.



#48 Austin55

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 04:20 PM

Man I am so confused



#49 JBB

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 05:04 PM

Because of rising property values and new taxable properties, the city was set to cut the property tax rate by 3 cents and still bring in $35 million in additional revenue via property taxes.  No services, especially public safety, were going to be cut.  At the hearing earlier this week, the council voted to only cut the rate by 2 cents and give the additional revenue (edit: raised by the 1 cent, not the $35 million) to The T.  Because they set a new rate, the hearing process will have to start over again.

 

You're right about the 1/2 cent allocations going to public safety and The T, but that's sales tax, not property tax.  No one is talking about cutting the sales tax rate.

 

My alternative?  Keep the tax rate the same and give 3 cents worth of revenue to The T.  That's easy for me to say since I don't have to run for re-election in a conservative city and I don't pay property taxes in the city of Fort Worth.



#50 renamerusk

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 06:14 PM

Because of rising property values and new taxable properties, the city was set to cut the property tax rate by 3 cents and still bring in $35 million in additional revenue via property taxes.  No services, especially public safety, were going to be cut.  At the hearing earlier this week, the council voted to only cut the rate by 2 cents and give the additional revenue (edit: raised by the 1 cent, not the $35 million) to The T.  Because they set a new rate, the hearing process will have to start over again.

 

You're right about the 1/2 cent allocations going to public safety and The T, but that's sales tax, not property tax.  No one is talking about cutting the sales tax rate.

 

My alternative?  Keep the tax rate the same and give 3 cents worth of revenue to The T.  That's easy for me to say since I don't have to run for re-election in a conservative city and I don't pay property taxes in the city of Fort Worth.

 

Thanks for the clarification.  Fiddling with the property tax rate is always dicey; it also does not insure that the hospital, community college, isd etc. will follow with a  similar tax reduction. There is plenty of things to be done for infrastructure maintenance or new construction. Will the T receive similar increases in funding from its other city members?  Is this Fort Worth or is it Tarrant County?  Is Arlington in? etc.  So far its confusing to me who they represent.

 

Suppose property values plummet as they did during the last economic downturn and fewer dollars are collected, public transit projects will have to be curtailed during recessionary times when demand for public transit typically increase.  It seems that the city/county/state has a different approach to transportation when it comes to highways and roads - issue bond debt and build more toll roads.  Why not also issue bond debt and build light rail and street car lines?  If you want highways; you get toll roads funded through the issuance of bonds; but if you rail transit you place it on the taxpayer. 

 

I agree with keeping the tax rate as it is. Use the money to invest in the things that we need now and in the future.  Cutting property taxes is such a no brainer that it can eventually create levels of funding that can do more harm than good.

 

TTA should be bold and insist that we want rail transit and we want it funded independently of property taxes by issuing bonds; that we want the investing class to purchase those bonds that will then allow us to have a transit system that is immune from council to council decisions. If TTA represents a fresh approach to the transit needs of the county, then I am with them; but if they do not look outside of the box, then I think that it will turn out to be a disappointment.






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