Why have Harlingen city coimmissioners even mentioned a tax hike?– that is the question

THE REAL DEAL
Ny JERRY DEAL
A valid question was presented at a public hearing Thursday concerning the Harlingen city tax rate, why did city commissioners even mention a possible tax increase?
Among those asking that question was Bill De Brooke, who is the chairman of the Downtown Improvement District. He reportedly noted that growth , plus increases in dales tax revenue, has given the local government more money in revenues. So, he asked why does the city need a tax increase?
The commissioners earlier had suggested a tax increase from 58 cents per $100, then backed off from it.
Also, local citizen Buck Bickley told the commission that money that has been paid so far to sass Pro Shops has drained the city of some $15 million over the past five years.
He was quoted as asking why the city wants to tax the citizens for something that has gone astray.
The session Thursday was the first of two hearings set by the city.

15 comments for “Why have Harlingen city coimmissioners even mentioned a tax hike?– that is the question

  1. The Real Dennis
    August 13, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    I’m happy to know that there are citizens who care about what’s going on in Harlingen. I see that the gutless mayor, city commissioners and uneducated city manager did not answer any of the questions posed by our taxpayers? Why not, if you’re asking for something and then open it to the public for even a hint of consideration? Then, have the balls to answer the questions with solid answers with something to support it! That’s what a politician is supposed to do and or officials of an entity. Bass Pro has drained a lot of the cities money and yet we did not learn a lesson from that venture. Then we have learned from the lesson of exchanging prime property for a dilapidated building that will cost millions to bring to code or in shape.
    After reading the VMS today, I learned that the county wants to raise taxes one cent to supplement hiring more people, etc… Our glorious mayor wants a four cent tax increase. Hello officials of Harlingen, that will be a five cent tax increase!
    To our glorious mayor and puppet commission, I don’t want to pay an increase of taxes for “YOUR” mistakes in the past or present. And it sounds like to me that there are others within these city limits that “FEEL” that way.

    • Dan Fernandez
      August 16, 2016 at 10:13 am

      Dennis, if you did just a little bit of investigating you would know that Bass Pro Shops hasn’t taken a dime from the city’s general fund. It was financed using EDC cash on hand and bonds issued and backed by the EDC. Furthermore, the bonds are being repaid with additional sales tax revenues generated from the store and surrounding developments. Again, nothing has been paid from the city’s general fund (which has a very healthy surplus balance by the way). You really should try to get a little more informed about things going on in Harlingen. Perhaps attend some meetings and ask questions so that you can know what you are talking about. Anyone that can look at all the new development taking place in Harlingen and say that the Bass Pro Shop deal was a big mistake is simply not operating with a full deck of cards.

      • IA
        August 16, 2016 at 5:27 pm

        Really Dan Fernandez? So what is Peyton pointing out?

        • jjr
          August 16, 2016 at 8:58 pm

          You see DF there are indeed people who are watching what is going on and they have commented on this page. We just need a whole lot more capable voters to wake up to what is really going on. Hence,the cure for the disease that is voter apathy in this town.

          But some simple questions posed to you DF.

          First,how much was the BP deal,”investment”/GAMBLE sold to the citizens as?

          How much has it turned into as of now?

          Who has benefited directly from the deal?

          Please DF,answer these three simple questions if you want to prove you have ANY CREDIBILITY at all.

          • jjr
            August 18, 2016 at 11:58 am

            Since you apparently don’t have answers to those questions DF,perhaps you can tell us why this concerned citizen would state this>>>>>

            “local citizen Buck Bickley told the commission that money that has been paid so far to sass Pro Shops has drained the city of some $15 million over the past five years.
            He was quoted as asking why the city wants to tax the citizens for something that has gone astray.”

            You are quick to jump on TRD but not so smart to defend your own propaganda.

            Come DF at least TRY to answer.

          • Dan Fernandez
            August 18, 2016 at 3:50 pm

            I tend to not pay attention to anonymous, phony cowards that are completely full of caca.

          • jjr
            August 18, 2016 at 9:16 pm

            What a rebuttal.

            This is all you can come up with? Cowards and phony? And you accuse me of being full of FECES? That is toooooooo funny DF.

            We are talking about finding the truth here and apparently you can not handle it. Hell,those you cheerlead for seem to ignore it all the time.

            Let’s look at what was stated DF concerning your LOVE for the BP deal that Mr.Buck Bickley shines a bright light on.
            All I did was point out what he stated so that you should address it.

            Mr.Buck Bickley,I believe you should ask Dan Fernandez if he thinks you are full of $&!T and are a phony,anonymous coward since you had the guts to stand up to ask a VALID QUESTION.

  2. Peyton
    August 14, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    As citizens we need to look at the checks they write out each month ( on website).lots of questions
    Electric provider GeXA. They are member oriented. Who is getting kick back. Who signed that contract.
    A check written to Amazon 3000 plus. Mmmm what’s that. Much more .. Questions on checks written to people.
    Paying so many law offices per month. Tens of thousands of dollars. We need to know. I bet the commissioners don’t even
    Know and are not even looking at it. See for yourself. A real mess.

  3. Peyton
    August 14, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Please go to city of Harlingen website. We are paying for things that should be questioned. Businesses not even recognized getting checks. Not to mention their not to good at buying locally wow. Who is in charge of this. Huge mess. Never seen it so bad. This is our money and it is being spent irresponsible.

  4. Peyton
    August 14, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    I think it would be a good idea to take the check register to the next meeting. Lots of questions. Over 10 thousand a month for mobile telephones. Really, wow…. Looks like a couple different companies paid.

  5. Bill DeBrooke
    August 14, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    The meeting was a public hearing so the Commission cannot respond to questions.

    Prior to the meeting I looked at the revenue and expense totals since 2011.
    Revenues were approx: 2011-34.5m, 2012-36.3m, 2013-38.8m, 2014-39.3m & 2015-42.1m.
    Expenses were approx: 2011-35m, 2012-34m, 2013-37m, 2014-39.7m & 2015-42.6m.
    Over the five year period there was a net surplus of 2m plus.
    If anyone wants absolute numbers go on line take it out to six places.

    Then I looked at expenses based on cost of living increases over the five year period. The result showed about a 5 million smaller expense number than we actually spent. I thought that was interesting.

    I did not say that I was not in favor of a tax increase at the meeting. I said, based on the numbers I crunched I did not understand why the increase was needed and I would like the City to produce a ‘white paper’ detailing the reasons that an increase was required.

    If someone would go to the effort to check my numbers I would appreciate it.

    In the past few years the City has left positions unfilled, cut departmental budgets and put off maintenance. Yet expenses are continuing to rise. It is not unfair to ask for the reasons.

    If anyone from the City or City Commission reads this, do me a favor. Do not say it is the Appraisal Districts fault that our taxes are rising. It makes no difference whose fault it is, the pain is the same. And of course every time that blurb appears in the paper outlining the increase appraised value, the taxing entity never lowers their rate so they would receive the same amount of money they received the year before.

  6. Peyton
    August 14, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Does anyone look at the check register ???? Lord
    City of Harlingen writing checks for Alcohol ??? Mmmm
    Valley Beverage
    L&F distributors.

    A lot of stuff to un cover … Any body up to looking at this.
    A check to Olympus Gym. 240.. Mmmm who is that ?

    • The Real Dennis
      August 15, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Peyton, did you see what they’re paying the red head from the Reese, Jesse “yes man” Robles, others within the establishment circle?

  7. Kenneth J.Benton
    August 14, 2016 at 7:07 pm
  8. Peyton
    August 15, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    The expenses are up 2.5 m just going with what you postedYOY so I’m not sure where the cutting is coming from.
    As far as maintenance they seem to be spending plenty in that area. Lots of questions. I would like to know who opens the mail
    And looks at invoices and approves. I would also like to see that check register divide into department. Putting your coding would be pretty easy. Looking at a glance and knowing what it is for. We’re spending about 3.5m per month. It doesn’t look like anyone
    Is signing off on these expenditures. It’s a guessing game.

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