Flood-proof doors

Dick and Kate and Gray walk through the doors of Rosenberg Library, 2310 Sealy Ave. in Galveston, on Monday, Jan. 29, 2018. The doors are flood-proof and were put in place after Hurricane Ike

GALVESTON

A 40-year guarantee to fund Rosenberg Library is adding pressure to the city’s general fund as other areas such as parks and transit potentially face cuts — a scenario brought on by a new state law capping property tax revenue, officials said.

Keri Heath: 409-683-5241; keri.heath@galvnews.com or on Twitter @HeathKeri.

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(7) comments

Bill Cherry

First, Keri Heath is an excellent reporter and writer. Congratulations to The News for finding and hiring her. What always interests me is the enormous amount of taxable property that has been added for the first time to the tax rolls in, say, the last 30 years. Those properties participate in the tax revenue, in the main. How come there never seems to be enough money to go around? And then there is the sales tax revenue which has also substantially increased. Meanwhile, that the city fathers don't want to cut into t he Rosenberg Library's funding agreement seems disingenuous; otherwise, they probably wouldn't have brought it up.

Susan Fennewald

Don't touch the library! The library isn't the problem. The pennies of tax devoted to the library aren't going up. The voters have actually voted to keep the library funding in place.

It's the public safety budget that keeps rising and sucking the money from everything else.

Bailey Jones

Once again Austin's one size fits all mentality rears its ugly head. Cities should be free to set their own tax rates based on their own economies, needs, and wants. People can decide whether they like their local taxes and vote - either at the ballot box or with their feet.

For my part, the Rosenberg is a good value for my tax money.

Ron Shelby

Hi Susan, The library is definitely important, but you're not looking at the charter amendment's impact properly. The amount of money that the library gets grows significantly each year as the property valuations increase. Its far from being harmed. The problem is the way the author's worded this charter amendment related to the library's budget was worded. An overall increase in property valuations within the city, means that the city's Ad Valorem (cents per $100) tax rate must decrease each year to keep revenues the same (or capped at only slight growth). As an example: If the City went from an Ad Valorem tax rate of 50 cents per $100 in 2010 and collected $30Million, then the library's fixed 5 cents of that rate represents both 10% of the total Ad Valorem Tax Rate and nets them $3 million dollars. Now assume that values jumped significantly in 2011. The City's Ad Valorem tax rate drops to 40 cents per $100 and the total collected is still $30Million, but the library's fixed 5 cents has now grown to 12.5% of the total tax rate (5/40) and nets the library a larger share of the same $30 Million at $3,750,000, and increase of $750K to the detriment of all other city services while revenues are flat at $30 million. I would hope that the author's of the charter amendment only intended to preserve the Library's funding but not at the extent of giving up fire, police and ambulance services. Extrapolate this example out further, and a strong island economy and hot demand for real estate, could easily push values up to a point where the library becomes 20-25% of the entire budget after a decade or more of property value increases. Theoretically, Revenues could still be same at $30 million while the library now receives $7.5 million of that total funding. Not a well worded charter amendment.

Terri Abraham

Are you saying that if the city can only increase the valuation of my home by 3.5% a year, that's not enough for them?

I'm not even getting a 3.5% raise in my income every year.

Ron Shelby

I hate the way this comment editor works. I apologize for the typos.

Curtiss Brown

Yeah, I hate the editor too.

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