Property Tax Relief – while our residents did receive a much needed 10% homestead exemption, we only received a 2 cent city property tax reduction. While council has directed city hall to continue to increase the homestead exemption over the coming years, I personally believe we can do better than that. We need to instead reduce the tax rate itself. Reducing the tax rate itself has the same effect as the homestead exemption for our primary household residents in the city, but the added relief then to our businesses whom after COVID-19 need relief. If our council was to reduce our tax rate 10% (about 7 cents) every resident would have the equivalent of raising our homestead exemption from 10 to 20%, but now every business owner would also get a 10% city tax reduction.
Roads, bridges, and sidewalks that feed our schools – a prioritization of getting our schools connected to our local neighborhoods is critical. We have schools that are being fed by 2 lane farm roads with culverts and little to no shoulders, no sidewalks, and even at least one location with a two lane bridge with no shoulder. Council has promised and pushed some of this work, while other spending moves forward. I would like to see our priorities be on the safety of our children in these critical areas. For those schools just outside our city limits in unincorporated Tarrant County or Arlington, we need to be working closely with those administrations to ensure this is a priority for them too. We have opportunities to make sure this is a priority to those administrations, lets get this done. It is too important.
Fire, Medical, and Police – we need to prioritize spending strategically to get ahead of the development projects we are approving. We know where our new developments are being built, we need to get the fire station and police force built before, not after. Minutes count in emergency situations and when we are building out essential personnel and facilities after areas are significantly developed it is a risk.
These items need to be front and center when we are deciding on spending.