November 1, 2017
Questions and answers regarding Sachse Proposition A
SACHSE (November 1, 2017) In an effort to clarify any confusion over the wording on the Nov. 7 ballot regarding the Sachse proposal asking voters to decide on the creation of a Municipal Development District (MDD), and whether or not a “yes” vote will raise property taxes, City Manager Gina Nash provides answers to some frequently asked questions on this topic.
Question: What does a “yes” vote on the MDD proposition mean?
Nash: First of all, there are two local propositions on the Sachse ballot, Proposition A concerns the MDD, and Proposition B is the local option sales of liquor. A “yes” vote on Proposition A means the voter is in favor of creating the MDD and the change in the local sales tax to fund it. A “no” vote on Proposition A means the voter is not in favor of the MDD.
Question: Will my property taxes increase if Proposition A passes?
Nash: The MDD is not connected to property taxes at all. There is no change to the tax rate or to the tax exposure for any resident or business in Sachse. The MDD would be funded by a change in the sales tax rate. Sachse is one of a handful of cities in the state that has maintained an 8 percent sales tax. The MDD passage would change the sales tax to 8.25 percent, in line with the vast majority of municipalities in Texas. That extra .25 percent, which represents 25 cents for every $100 spent, would go directly to the MDD.
Question: If Proposition A passes, how will Sachse use the funds?
Nash: The City Council has gone on public record committing the MDD to concentrate on parks, playgrounds, trails and open space management. Should Proposition A pass, the City Council has committed to passing a binding resolution that would govern the use of the funds for that purpose, and that purpose only. Enhancing and expanding the parks, playgrounds and trails system will be the sole focus of the MDD. The Council has deemed this program as a “quality of life” issue.
Question: How will that work, and who will decide how the money is spent?
Nash: Proposals to use MDD funds will be routed to the MDD Board, which will be the Sachse Parks Board. These individuals will review proposals, examine projects, hold public hearings and make recommendations to the City Council. Their deliberations will be open to the public, and their agendas and minutes published on the Sachse website. The final approval will go through the City Council. There is a guarantee of transparency built into the entire process.
Question: How is a Municipal Development District different than the Economic Development Corporation?
Nash: The two entities are very different. The EDC is designed specifically, by state law, to concentrate on recruiting commercial businesses in Sachse. The EDC staff works with the EDC Board, the City Council and City staff in putting incentives in place that do exactly that. A Municipal Development District, on the other hand, is designed to provide a community fairly wide latitude on programs, capital projects, and improvements that benefit that community in some form or fashion. A community is free to set the parameters for how an MDD spends its revenue. As mentioned, in Sachse’s case, the MDD would be solely dedicated to parks, playgrounds, trails and other enhancements to these facilities.
Question: Can’t the City fund these programs from the General Fund?
Nash: The General Fund is designed to keep the City functioning, financing the maintenance and operation of the City and paying our debts. The General Fund does not have the extra money to provide for these kinds of projects. If we move money from the General Fund, money would have to be diverted from other vital services the City provides.
Early Voting continues until Friday. Nov. 3, and Election Day is Nov. 7.