Sunday, August 2, 2009

Subdivision rules, a big tax diversion and county budget coming up this week

Taxpayers, when was the last time you can remember any of our brave commissioners and county judge actually reduced the county's budget enough to take some of the heat off of us?

Send your comments and news tips to, or to your county commissioner

By Bob Ochoa
RoundUp Editor

The coming week is gonna be a doozy for you folks who like to keep track of what kind of ride our county commissioners are taking us on.

Commissioners court will be taking up three important matters worth following: For us Western Hays Countians, more discussion on the proposed new subdivision rules (minimum lot size in particular); and for you Eastsiders, the court may vote on and decide to establish a tax increment financing zone (a long term property tax freebie) to help ease the way in for U. S. Foodservice into the Buda area.

Many Buda citizens are up in arms over the Foodservice proposal. Here's what a post card says that landed in the mailbox Saturday: "Are you aware that Hays County Commissioners may decide – at their Tuesday, August 4th meeting – to establish a tax increment financing zone? If approved, this would divert $1.75 million of county property taxes to road improvements for a project (U.S. Foodservice) that is opposed by many Buda citizens.

"Buda voters, in fact, have just completed a door-to-door petition drive (in record heat!) calling for a public vote on an industrial land use that is in direct contradiction to The Buda Comprehensive Plan.

"Please contact your County Commissioner and ask them to wait until the voice of Buda voters are heard. This is not a time to be wasting tax dollars.

"Contact: (Your county commissioner/Pct. 4 - Karen Ford, 512.858.7268, e-mail: . . . We're really counting on you. Please don't let us down!"

For more information, go to the web site:

County Judge Liz Sumter:
Pct. 3 Commissioner Conley:
Pct. 2 Commissioner Barton:
Pct. 1 Commissioner Ingalsbe:

Also scheduled at Tuesday's commissioners court meeting will be discussion of budget requests from county departments. Workshops are scheduled at the courthouse on the county's new fiscal year budget on Wednesday at 10 a.m. and again Thursday at 9 a.m. Here we will be see the political jockeying in full summer bloom, justifying more projects, more expenditures, probably far more expenditures than any proposals from the court that will significantly REDUCE expenditures. Taxpayers, when was the last time you can remember any of our brave commissioners and county judge actually reduced the county's budget enough to take some of the heat off of us?

The RoundUp has been hearing that the budget is in a precarious condition, no doubt suggesting red ink unless guess who gets fed ANOTHER TAX INCREASE. We recommend that you watch the actions and votes of members of the court who were the biggest promoters of the biggest looming budget buster of all, The Great 2008 Hays County Road Bond Boondoggle – the $207 million in new road & road reconstruction projects, now looking like the State of Texas will NOT be paying us back all that was promised. The five lane FM1626 project, we are informed, is no longer even necessary since the Hwy 45 extension to I35 got nixed. Do you suppose the commissioners who pushed the road bonds will support a tax hike to pay for it all? Not on their political lives. Why does the phrase "Gutless Wonders" keep coming to mind?


Casual Observer said...

If I understand it correctly, the Cost of Community Services study presented to Hays County almost ten years ago showed that unplanned and uncontrolled development would likely lead to an unbalanced couty budget. This is because residential development (which is the overwhelming development type seen in Hays County) costs more in county services than it brings in tax dollars. If that study was correct, our current mix of development cannot help but cause tax increases--and this is the case regardless of who our county commissioners are, which party they belong to, or what their personal governing philosophy may be.

I would add that it will arguably still be the case if the 6.5 acre ordinance is law or not.

Simply put, the way in which Hays County is growing--with a lack of any kind of planned balance in terms of mixed development (residential, farm/ranch/open space, and commercial/business)--guarantees that the county will not be able to balance tax revenues and demand for services.

Anonymous said...

This is not a total waste of taxpayer dollars. Is is sound corporate welfare for the few. And it will bring in low paying jobs for the masses. Let us all congratulate ourselves for our not so free markets complacency instead of grumbling about justice and a more responsible pilfering of our tax dollars. It is the new Texas in action.