Category: Fiscal Responsibility (Page 1 of 2)

Spending our tax dollars wisely

Sales Tax Revenues…A Tale of Two Cities

Since I have been looking into Georgetown’s sales tax revenues and the continuing impact that the spread of Covid-19 has had on those revenues, I have discoveCharles Dickens a Tale of Two Citiesred Texas cities have not been equally affected by the pandemic.

As some cities have had their sales tax revenues significantly drop like Austin (-11%), other cities like San Marcos have had their sales tax revenues jump by 63%. 

I took Charles Dickens’ approach and looked at A Tale of Two Cities for inspiration (and their sales tax revenues)…and selected San Marcos & Georgetown. San Marcos’ population (2018: 63,500) is a little smaller than Georgetown (2018: 74,180), but the Comptroller reported San Marcos’ July sales tax revenues at $4,645,120 (collected in May) while Georgetown only received $2,592,905…so what’s going on?

I started looking into why San Marcos received a 63% bump in revenues collected in May and in the same month over $2 million (+79%) more sales tax revenue than Georgetown…and discovered the inequitable truth about the imbalance.

I also discovered things could be changing and some cities are really upset about those changes. So which cities could be facing the guillotine?

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City Begins Work on New 2021 Mobility Bond Package

With the appointment of a 16 member Citizen Advisory Committee on July 14th, City Council has started work on building a mobility bond package that voters will decide up or down in May 2021.

The City has kicked off their public engagement phase with an online survey. I strongly encourage you to complete the online survey (web link to survey).

Since we will be voting on the bond package next May, our opinions and priorities are critical to the process. Feel free to share the survey site with your friends and neighbors…the more the better.

With Georgetown being one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, we need to ensure we invest our tax dollars on projects that protect and enhance our community’s quality of life. We will have to live with the decisions we make next May for years to come. Typically, mobility bonds packages build bigger, wider roads, but does that always really help us? When we build wider roads through our neighborhoods, we are inviting more traffic to travel on those wider roads.

Instead of just building more concrete infrastructure, maybe we should also be investing in new ideas that can help solve our existing traffic congestion. Enter Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) that can help move more traffic faster through our existing roadways.

Let’s be a “Smart City” and think about how and where we invest our hundreds of millions of dollars to improve Georgetown’s future. Continue reading

Georgetown’s April Sales Tax Revenues Are In…

Dollar BillsToday, I saw that the Texas Comptroller had the numbers out for Georgetown’s April Sales Tax Revenues. We did better than I was expecting, which is great news.

The Comptroller shows that Georgetown received $2,355,640 in sales tax revenues for April. I have also calculated the Year over Year (YOY) comparisons between FY2019 (FY19) April numbers and FY2020 (FY20) April numbers. The YOY comparisons can be a little tricky though. Certainly Georgetown has grown significantly over last year in population and the number of stores and businesses that support our population.

If you just compared FY19 sales tax revenues with FY20 revenues, you wouldn’t reflect the growth we have had this year. So is that a truly accurate way to compare YOY sales tax revenues for Georgetown?

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