If you are looking at total dollars, even the final rate is a tax increase. The new lower rate is still bringing in more money on existing property than it did last year. Of course, individual results will vary based on the amount of increase/decrease of individual properties.
Note that of the total increase in revenue from property taxes, $35,400,918, less than half, $15,826,137 is from new property.
For Fort Worth to have taken in the same amount of money from existing properties, that tax rate, known as the Effective Tax Rate would have to be $0.787766. http://fortworthtexa.../tax-notice.pdf
No matter what, the city is "increasing your taxes."
This is where it is very important to be specific when talking about taxes. There is a big difference between the tax rate and the amount of money generated. Talking taxes in general, your rate can stay the same, but if the value of what you are being taxed on goes up, then you will pay more in $$. The taxing entity hasn't technically increased your taxes, but your value, whether it's property, income, whatever, has gone up, causing an increase in $$. In my opinion, it's a bit disingenuous to call that a tax increase.
Really what's increasing your taxes is the fact that all of your new neighbors are willing to pay more $/sq. ft. to live in your neighborhood than you did when you moved in.
I am only seeing three stations with a Fort Worth address. The 2 downtown and CentrePort. CentrePort is so far out there that I admittedly didn't even consider it. Richland Hills and Bell are in Richand Hills and Hurst respectively.
My point is basically that while regional rail is nice and all for getting between cities and destinations that are far apart, what do you do when you get there. If the local transit isn't efficient enough where you don't miss having the car you left at the park and ride lot, then it's not as useful as it could be.
I think we worry too much about people getting between the cities, and not enough about getting people around within the city. Fort Worth is a little unique with its never ending sprawl. I think it should focus on the core areas near the center of the city and then let it spread out from there. People that live in the city, but are 15 miles from the core will just have to wait. That's the price to pay for living that far from the core.
Somehow we need to get back to being a tarantula with public transit.
With Amazon and transit/highway access, one can be just about anywhere in North Texas and you are not far from the highway. If their main focus is on urban transit access, adding a few minutes to the time it takes to get to a highway is basically meaningless. Especially since they are looking to build a headquarters with lots of office workers. If this was another distribution center, then you would want to be as close to the highway as possible.
San Antonio. At least Fort Worth has commuter rail.
Which has only 2 stops in Fort Worth, doesn't run on Sundays, and has a severely reduced schedule on Saturday. As a Fort Worth citizen who lives, works, and plays in Fort Worth, the TRE doesn't do much for me. The only time it's useful is during the State Fair when it runs a special schedule on Saturday and actually runs on Sunday.
For most cities with "real transit," it's subways and street cars that handle the majority of the destinations, and buses pick up the last mile for destinations that happen to not be close enough to the rail. As the article about El Paso mentions, rail is pretty permanent. You can't change a rail line overnight. For cities with rail, places that people want to go tend to cluster around the rail.
And to link this to the topic of Amazon, if Amazon were to come here, and they ended up in Panther Island, I don't think they would care too much about the limited access to I-35 and I-30. If they are truly wanting an urban campus, and expect a lot of their employees to live nearby, they won't need immediate, easy, access to the highway all the time, because they won't be on the highway that often. They are probably going to care more about how people get around in the immediate area, because that is where they are going to spend most of their time. For the few times these hypothetical people need to use the highway, having it take an extra 5 or 10 minutes is not that big of a deal.
There's probably still a lot of fear about excluding cars too much. If it's too hard to drive to, then people won't come.
The developers most likely still have the mindset where things have to be a destination for outsiders to come to and not building these things for the people that actually live there and having these local residents as their primary customers.
We already know that these developments don't even pay the actual cost to hook up to the existing utilities. There have been several articles in the Star-Telegram that have mentioned it. I can't remember the actual numbers, so I'll use some ones that are as best I can remember. The hookup fee is supposed to be $3,400, but for the longest time the city only charged something like $600. They have been increasing the fee, but it still is not enough to actually cover the cost of just connecting to the citie's services.
I wonder if the city has ever done a real cost benefit analysis for these far flung areas. Do they really bring in the tax money to cover all the new expenses that they bring? Sure the developer may pay to put in the streets and other infrastructure, but then it gets turned over to the city to maintain and replace when it gets worn out.
I remember when the streetcar was still a thing and there was a quote from someone in Far North Fort Worth stating how they didn't want to see there tax money going to something that they would never use. Well, I'm curious to see how much of my tax money is going to these far flung neighborhoods that I will never use.
There was another time where the paper was quoting someone and they didn't even fully realize that they lived in Fort Worth since they had a Keller zip code and their kids went to Keller ISD.
Personally, I listen to NPR. I can't think of a time when they are reporting the news, where opinion is added from the newscasters.
If you are truly interested in listening to both sides of an issue, then shows like The Diane Rhem Show and Intelligence Squared are great. The Diane Rhem Show goes into topics with experts from all sides of an issue. Intelligence Squared is an actual debate. Like a for real debate, with rules and decorum and everything. There are no shouting matches on any of these shows.
I also really enjoy their other programming like Planet Money, where they did a whole series on buying oil. They actually bought something like a 1,000 barrels of oil (can't remember the exact amount) and followed it all the way from pumping it out of the ground to turning it into gasoline. They did a similar thing with t-shirts.
I remember reading that the reason for the move to Sunday was that with everything that had gone on downtown, the parade wasn't needed anymore to draw people in, and the parade goers were crowding out the regular shoppers. Now the two groups aren't "clashing" anymore.
I like the move to Sunday because I am usually traveling to see family and missed the parade when it was on Friday. Since the move to Sunday we have gone every year.
If true, I can't even begin to tell you how excited I will be to see a gas station there instead of a nice neighborhood sized church. There just aren't enough gas stations on Camp Bowie between Bryant Irvin and 183. Who knows how many times I've almost run out of gas on that stretch of road.
Minimum parking requirements force developers to put in as many spaces as the code dictates, not how many are actually needed. For retail it's based on the number of spots anticipated to be needed on the busiest shopping day of the year. For residential it assumes every body in that home will be driving a car.
Completely random example:
If someone wants to build a store and thinks they will do just fine with only 3 or 4 spaces, the code might require them to have 10. Now that they have to have 10 spaces, there might be more land used for parking than the actual store. It might even be more land than is available. Now you've gone from having a nice little neighborhood store to having nothing.
It wouldn't surprise me if the convenience store that my family owned or several others in my hometown would not be able to be built with today's regulations. Granted, it's small town USA, but it did well enough to support my grandparents for 25+ years and my uncle for a decade after that before he sold it to someone else. https://www.google.c...!7i13312!8i6656
Based on the pictures above, it looks like there is a lot of green space in the area. It's just undesirable/impossible to get to because of the street network. I'm going to assume that the rumor you may have heard did not include demolishing a building or converting a parking lot.