Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Yesterday it was announced that the US Post Office will layoff 40,000 workers. This comes on the back of the DHL decision to layoff 10,000 workers. Yesterday we learned of several LRGV companies announcing layoffs. For the most part the LRGV has been immune to the worst of the crisis because we have a shorter distance to fall before hitting bottom, and our economy is not as tied to the banking and the financial markets.

Has anyone heard of any leadership coming from anyone as to how we are going to weather the storm. With gas down below a $1.70 a gallon, many of us are happy with the more than 50% savings we are experiencing since the high of $3.99 in July, If you do not have a job, gas at a $1.00 a gallon may not mean much.

I am amazed that at the national level Republicans are still pushing for deporting 10 million consumers. If you think things are already getting bad, wait until you take an additional 10 million consumers out of the picture. Again this is a lack of leadership.

So again, what can the local leadership do help easy the crisis. Some may be shocked by this, because it tends to go against the grain of commonsense, but I say it is time the City Commission hit the builders with at least a $4,000 impact fee. I know I have discussed this before, but maybe this time it will make more sense.

Whether it is the City of Brownsville, Cameron County, or BISD, all need your property taxes to survive. With foreclosure up, property values will come down. As property values come down so too will tax revenues. Lower tax revenues mean financial crisis at the city, county, and BISD levels. Just several weeks ago Dallas ISD was forced to layoff hundreds of teachers because of reduced tax revenues.

Four years ago when we put the Dallas house on the market it was appraised at 180 thousand. Today our best offer on the house is 80 thousand. The foreclosure situation in Dallas is bad. You can bet we have demanded the taxes be lowered on the house.

So why the high impact fee? We need to force people to buy existing housing. If we can force people to start to buy the foreclosed houses, and other existing housing on the market, then property values will initially stabilize, and eventually go up. Further, people will be buying homes which need repairs. In many cases, by forcing people into the used housing market we will begin the process of rebuilding run-down neighborhoods. This is generally good for Brownsville, and in the long and short run for the tax base.

At the end of the day when you increase the cost of new housing by $4,000 over night, you will force people to buy older houses. Yes, some construction workers will be laid off. The housing market is already way down. Some of these workers will end-up doing remodeling work. Maybe Brownsville needs to use some of its resources to better promote local businesses, such as remodeling businesses, instead of looking for another outside corporation demanding a handout.


You use vulgar language to call me stupid because I have not figured out how to cheat the library out of the 25 cents for the color copies. Has it occurred to you that it would never occur to me to cheat the library?


Stan said...

You've run through this before and I think it's a good line of reasoning. Are you getting any response from city or PUB officials?

BobbyWC said...

Stan, thanks for the comment,

Here is the poop on the scoop - if this city commission were on fire, and I suggested calling the fire department, they would call for a tanker full of gasoline.

The developers own enough of these guys, that until there is a public out cry they will do nothing.

I know I am a great teacher - I believe in empowering my students with skills - no dependency allowed - they must own their education-

I have principals who have gotten to know me tell me all of the time I am a great teacher (through the children I tutor)

I could be the last teacher on the planet and BISD would still not allow me to interview. Their two-bit lawyer tells me that I am on the list but that the principals do not think I am qualified.

Here is reality - because of my MA in Poli Sci, my students get duel credit.

My point is commonsense and doing the right thing eludes the elected officials of Brownsville and Cameron County.

For someone who dropped math every semester but two, I am amazed I turor college alegbra - I took geology in college (big at UTEP), but yet I tutor anatomy.

When you know how to teach, with a couple days advanced notice and a text book, you can teach just about anything.

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

Easy there! Obama is not president yet! We can't MAKE anyone purchase an existing home. Although as a realtor, I would love nothing more! Unfortunately the foreclosed homes on the market have been left trashed, overpriced, and the lack of qualified buyers leaves alot of those homes as eye sores on the community. Most buyers are shocked when looking at buying a foreclosed home, they think it's going to be the greatest deal for them, that is until they realize all the plumbing and light fixtures have been taken out, the air condition units removed, and oops, without those no FHA financing. It's a vicious web that has been weaved, and there doesn't seem to be a realistic way out. buy cautiously!

Financially strapped agent

BobbyWC said...

I am working with a realtor who has shown me 3 great foreclosures. I am sure the houses you are describing exist, but there also exists clean houses at great prices.

In many cases the banks are investing a little money to clean up the houses.

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

Do you think prooerty tax valuations will go down? The appraisal districts don't play fair. They care about revenue, not accuracy.

Anonymous said...

The appraisal district is not likely to cut valuations....after all, the valuation is a tax that none of us vote on and in hard times is the source of government spending without the politics of tax increases. The appraisal district is made up of angry old men who see their role to defend their valuations, be unrelenting and unrepentent in dealing with the public and find more ways to jack up the price of property. After all, their goal is to bring in money.