This election season, the City of Grapevine is asking you to approve a bond (Proposition 2) for a $30.1 million expansion and renovation of the lightly used Community Activities Center (CAC). The City Council and Mayor sent out a recent voter guide titled “The Facts about the 2012 Bond Referendum.” We found it to be lacking in information so we thought we would provide a bit more to help out the local voters.
The proposal is to double the size of the current community activities center to around 100,000 square feet. The increase in size will also add a new indoor swimming facility complete with water slides, geysers, and a lazy river. If you have been to the CAC, you are in the minority. The CAC is lightly used and has only about 8,000 members in a city of roughly 50,000 people. So the need to double the size is precarious at best.
But if you put aside the fact that we do not need to double the size of the now only 15 year old facility, let’s take a closer look at the note sent out by the City Council and Mayor.
Impact on Taxpayers: No New Taxes.
A vote in favor of one or both propositions would not result in a tax rate increase. Grapevine’s property tax rate would remain one of the lowest in North Texas and our sales tax rate will remain unchanged at 8.25%. Funding for the projects would be provided by existing property taxes, sales tax revenue and other current funding sources.
It is a great statement. But lets flip that statement over and look at the other side and make a couple of assumptions. The council tells you there is not a need to increase your tax rates to pay for a $30 million facility. Then wouldn’t a “No” vote mean lower tax rates? After all, a No Vote would mean you (the taxpayer) will not be paying $1 million to $2 million per year in payments on the $30 million loan. So that is money that can be returned to you the Grapevine taxpayer.
We find it interesting the Council did not present the options if you vote no to Proposition 2. We are voting no not only because we do not need a $30 million lazy river, but also because it could likely lead to a tax rate decrease that the council did not present.
Early voting is now open. Election day is November 6, 2012. You can vote at the aforementioned CAC.