Neighborhood News

PROPERTY TAX LEGISLATION

Speaker Bonnen: Property Tax Legislation Filed In House, Senate, Chair Burrows files HB 2, Speaker joins Gov. and Lt. Gov. in announcing bill filing

AUSTIN, Texas – Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen today joined Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Representative Dustin Burrows and Senator Paul Bettencourt at a news conference to announce that the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate have filed identical legislation to reform the state’s property tax system.

Rep. Burrows, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, is the author of House Bill 2. Sen. Paul Bettencourt, Chair of the Senate Committee on Property Tax, will carry identical legislation in the Senate.

"The House and Senate have taken the first step to accomplish meaningful property tax reform by filing legislation that will increase transparency in the property tax system, empower property owners to take a more active role in rate setting, and slow the growth of property tax rates," said Speaker Bonnen. "I am honored to be here in support of Chairman Burrows and Chairman Bettencourt today, and I commend them for working in unison to file identical legislation. This collaboration is a testament of the House and Senate's unity behind this issue, and we look forward to working with our colleagues in the Senate to deliver upon our goal of accomplishing property tax reform this session."

Chairman Burrows added, “This bill provides greater fairness and transparency to the Texas taxpayer. Texans deserve the right to vote before their property taxes are raised excessively. They deserve the right to know who is raising them excessively.”

In the initial weeks of the 86th legislative session, Speaker Bonnen, Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Patrick have made it expressly clear that all three share the priorities of accomplishing meaningful property tax and school finance reform this session. By filing HB 2, Chair Burrows and Chair Bettencourt have taken the first step in successfully bringing those priorities to fruition.

Specifically, this legislation would:

Provide much needed transparency by addressing the manner in which property tax rates are set and publicly notified to property owners. It improves upon public tax notices by requiring local governments to provide property owners with a plain language comparison to the rate they are proposing, so that taxpayers can more easily see the difference in what they paid last year versus the present year.

 Create a searchable statewide database that gives taxpayers the information they need to hold local officials accountable. Property owners would be able to see how each jurisdiction's proposed tax rates directly affects their individual tax bill, along with detailed information about who has proposed raising their property tax bills and where and when they can make their voices heard in the rate-setting process. This information would be provided ahead of time, empowering taxpayers to involve themselves in the rate-setting process and preventing local governments from setting rates without alerting the public.

Lower the rollback rate to 2.5% from the current 8% for all taxing units with more than $15 million in combined property and sales tax revenue. If taxing units propose a rate that exceeds the rollback rate, an automatic ratification election would take place in November.

Create the Property Tax Advisory Board in the Office of the Comptroller. This advisory board will be able to make recommendations to the comptroller that improve effectiveness and efficiency in the property tax system, making it easier for Texas citizens to take a more active role.

Make reforms that will increase efficiency and transparency between property owners and the Appraisal Review Board. Two key provisions of this legislation include expanding opportunities for property owners to protest or appeal their appraisal value through after-hours protests and requiring notices from appraisal districts to be issued electronically.

ANC SELECTED FOR VIDEO DISPLAYS AT DICKIES ARENA

 CENTER-HUNG VIDEO BOARD TO BE SECOND LARGEST CONTINUOUS DISPLAY IN THE UNITED STATES

 Fort Worth – Trail Drive Management Corp. (TDMC) released plans to install a complete video display network at Dickies Arena. TDMC will partner with ANC to design and install a new center-hung display, fascia ribbon boards and courtside displays throughout the venue. The display will be the second largest continuous display featuring 360-degree playback as one canvas in the United States.

 “Dickies Arena will bring quality entertainment to Fort Worth, and our video displays will help create an immersive environment for a wide variety of events,” said Matt Homan, president and general manager of TDMC.

 The center-hung display will weigh 12 times more than a Chevrolet Silverado. Combined, the boards will feature 21 times more pixels than the number of people living in Fort Worth. The displays will be seamlessly synchronized by ANC’s award-winning vSOFT™ operating system.

The new video network includes a rounded display that will enhance the viewing experience with a larger canvas for content, stats, video and animations. The main video display, which is made up of four, 6-milimeter displays measuring 25.2 feet high by 37.8 feet wide, seamlessly wraps into four, 6-milimeter corner displays.

Through ANC’s vSOFT operating system, Dickies Arena can enable continuous playback across the entire display network, allowing for stand out moments of exclusivity and other dramatic features. When used in the full layout, content can extend 180 feet around the full circumference of the board.

Additionally, two, 4-milimeter boards measuring 10.08 feet high by 35.28 feet wide have been placed inside the center video board on the east and west sides. These boards will combine live video and replays with advanced statistics, creating an unparalleled view for lower bowl seats and premium guests.

A 360-degree, 16-milimeter fascia ribbon board will wrap the upper bowl, supplying fans with statistics and scores and maximizing revenue by allowing dynamic advertisements. A second set of fascia displays that will run alongside the sidelines, measuring 233.49 feet wide by 2.5 feet high, will also feature the tight 16-milimeter display.

Finally, four courtside tables featuring a stunning 4-milimeter product will be used to create the courtside scoring table LED. The 37.8 feet wide by 2.5 feet high tables will be controlled using the vSOFT technology, ensuring that all boards will feature beautiful, synchronized content.

The displays will feature Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc.’s Diamond Vision System Division XL Series featuring Real Black® technology.

ANC’s designers and engineers have worked closely with the arena on customizing the displays to integrate seamlessly with the overall look of the arena. ANC will also work with Dickies Arena to operate the displays during live events, while ANC Studios creates engaging content for the display system

“We are excited to partner with Dickies Arena and bring our years of expertise and award-winning technology to this exciting new project,” said Dave Watroba, vice-president of sales, ANC. “These technological enhancements will allow Dickies Arena to host a variety of events, offering an experience unlike any other in the region.”

Dickies Arena will bring a wide variety of programming to Fort Worth, including concerts, family shows, sporting events, community events and will be the new home to the Fort Worth Stock Show rodeo performances. The $540 million project is on schedule for completion in November 2019, and it will complement the current Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum, which will continue to serve as a major equestrian show arena.

Dickies Arena will be a 14,000 seat, spectacular multipurpose venue located adjacent to the Will Rogers Memorial Center campus in Fort Worth, Texas. The facility is the result of a pioneering public-private partnership between the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, the State of Texas and a group of private-sector participants, including foundations, individuals and organizations. The arena will be owned by the City of Fort Worth and managed by the not-for-profit operating entity, Trail Drive Management Corp. (TDMC). The state-of-the-art arena, scheduled to open in November 2019, will host concerts, sporting events and family entertainment, and will be the new home to Fort Worth Stock Show rodeo performances. For more information, visit www.DickiesArena.com.

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Contractors left a mess in East Fort Worth

(Monday, Jan.14) Cary Moon, Councilman District 4, responded to the photos of the construction sites published here and on Facebook. I received a personal call at home 8:30 on Friday night from Alicia Ortiz. (She was working LATE!) We discussed the situation and here is City information on the construction projects sent by Alicia:

"Kat,

Per our discussion, below is the list of current CoFW projects in the area. A map of the project locations is attached along with the contract schedules. In addition, please find the pictures taken today from the project site at Rockhill & Blueridge.

  • Canton Dr. (Monterrey Dr. to Yosemite Dr.)
    – 2014 CIP Year 3, Contract 7 – Water, Sanitary Sewer, Storm Drainage, Paving Improvements & Culvert Improvement
  • Jacqueline Road (Weiler Blvd. to Jacqueline Ct.)
    - 2014 CIP Year 3, Contract 7 – Water, Sanitary Sewer, Storm Drainage, Paving Improvements & Culvert Improvements
  • Meadowbrook Dr. (Sandy Lane to Escalante Ave.)
    - 2014 CIP Year 3, Contract 7 – Water, Sanitary Sewer, Storm drainage, Paving Improvements & Culvert Improvements
  • Monterrey Dr. (Dancinger Dr. to Oak Hill Rd.)
    - 2014 CIP Year 3, Contract 7 – Water, Sanitary Sewer, Storm drainage, Paving Improvements & Culvert Improvements
  • Rockhill Rd. (Blueridge Dr. to Oak Hill Rd.)
    - 2014 CIP Year 3, Contract 7 – Water, Sanitary Sewer, Storm drainage, Paving Improvements & Culvert Improvements
  • Canterbury Circle / Brentwood
    – Water Department Emergency – work order 18-85214 – asphalt repairs are scheduled for Monday, January 14th weather permitting. The project should take approximately 3 days to complete.
    "

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Respectfully, Alicia Ortiz, District Director – District 4, Councilmember Cary Moon.

These photos (below) were taken Saturday showing the work sites have been cleaned up better.

 

Maps of Construction sites

_______________

 (Published Friday, Jan. 11) — Residents of the Eastern Hills Neighbhood, along Oak Hill and the connecting streets, are supposed to be getting water lines, gas lines, sewer and storm drain improvements.

Like a lot of other construction jobs on this side of town, something is started, is left half-done, and then sits for weeks or months before the project is completed.

Homeowners want to know: why is  big equipment just left sitting on the streets? Isn't that piece of heavy industrial road equipment needed somewhere else in the city? Does the City OWN this equipment or is it leased? How much tax payer money is wasted paying lease fees on a vehicle that is just sitting doing nothing? WHY is this allowed to happen?

These tractors are a big attraction to small boys who want to play with big trucks. No one is on site to lock these rigs and kids have been seen playing on them.

Most of the streets in Eastern Hills do NOT have sidewalks, and locals are out walking their dogs in the evening, carefully dodging the construction cones and road hazzards left ihn the roadway where they walk.

Look at this photo. Is this orange fence really securing the site and preventing a person from falling in this hole? Does this look safe to you?

Look at the TRASH left in front of this home in the photo below. It has been left there for longer than 4 weeks, and not one construction worker or city worker has come by to pick up and dispose of this mess. Would you want to look at this every time you open the front door? Me either.

Around the corner in Brentwood Oak Hills neighborhood, the new water main ruptured on Brentwood Drive at Canterbury on December 12th — now a month ago. The home owner on the corner reported that the water department took over 2 hours to respond, and only came out after they called 911 a second time, as the water was getting very close to their door and risked flooding their house.

They came out, the water was off overnight, and Repair Crews were out all night digging and patching, but left a half-done blob of asphalt to cover this big hole. The warning signs are still on the side of the street.

Brentwood Drive residents want answers, too.

  • Why did a new, 2-year-old water pipe break, on a night when there was no rain or freezing temperatures?
  • Was it ground shifting? Was it product failure? Improper installation? What happened to make it break?
  • Why wasn't the site ground properly prepared?
  • Where does the City get the blue PVC pipe from?
  • What kind of safety checks are done on the products?
  • Why are the manhole covers made in India?
  • How much did that cost to ship those heavy cast bronze plates from India to Texas?
  • WHY is this repair job only half done?
  • Why the delay in completing these projects?

The longer this one job goes unfinished, the more road damage is done, increasing the cost and the size of the damaged area needing repair, not to mention the beating our cars get driving down our street.

Monday Jan 14: Work Crews are on site at this water repair project and it is expected to take 3 days to complete. see above information.

 

This is the response from Cary Moon's office:

 

"I apologize for the delay. It has taken some time to gather information about the projects in the area. At this time, there are only two city projects; water and field ops. The managers have been advised of the complaints and are making certain their project areas are tidy. It seems that there may be other private projects not related to the city. We have been trying to get more information, but there has not been any feedback at this time.

Please find the following information for your inclusion:

Water: Per the dig test tickets there is work being done by the City of Fort Worth Water Department that began on Rockhill Rd. on December 10, 2018 and was expected to last approximately 60 days.

I’ve spoken with a supervisor from work being done at Rockhill and Oak Hil reference 2014 CIP Year 3 Contract 7 CPN 02695. He states this location is his active site and his crews have worked every day that did not include bad weather or holiday time off. He states his crew has just completed temporary water on Rockhill and the 2” pipes are left over from that set up. He has assured me he will have them removed from the site ASAP. He states he cannot remove the barricades as they are for everyone’s safety and the only other thing on site is construction materials, which he will make sure is tidy, that are being used daily.

Field Ops: The only job that Field Operations has in this e-mail would be the job @ Brentwood Dr & Canterbury Circle. The work order is 18-85214 1529 Canterbury Circle. It is a large repair that needs to be done and we are waiting on materials (asphalt). At this time we are having to wait until after New Year’s for the asphalt plant to reopen, and then it will depend on temperatures as to when we can get the amount of asphalt needed out to the job site to finish the repair. All of the other photos showing the Oak Hill Dr areas are jobs being done by a contractor.

The contractor projects must be private. They are not the Fort Water Department Field Operations jobs. The only job that Field Operations has would be the job @ Brentwood Drive & Canterbury Circle.

We are still requesting more information, but it is taking time. I did not want to wait any further to respond. We will keep you updated as we receive more information."

___________

 

Who in Eastern Hills has the money to hire a PRIVATE contractor to do street and utility repairs?

Home owners would like their city council rep to come see the mess for himself and meet with them regarding the lack of timely construction projects, and the mess these guys leave behind for the final touchup crew to deal with.

Road construction and utility upgrade projects have been left unfinished in Eastern Hills area. Photos by Connie Bally.

© 2018 Greater Meadowbrook News • Photographs © Lloyd Jones Photography. All rights reserved.

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