Posted by Barbara, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jan 30, 2009 at 10:20 pm
Many people have decided the small rural nature of our area, with controlled growth and low crime, is where they want to be and raise their families.
Our school district is primarily funded through property taxes. An incorporated Alamo could increase property taxes and levy numerous sales taxes. People have a certain tolerance for paying higher and higher taxes. Unlike our school district, which needs to go to the voters for all secondary taxes, a town would have the ability to levy a tax on new goods or services by a town council vote alone.
These additional taxes could lead to "taxpayer burnout." That means sometime in the future when our schools are in dire need of more money, we could be turned down by voters who feel their taxes are already too high. That would be a shame.
There are many in Alamo that have worked hard to create a school system we are proud of. I have children in school here in Alamo. Please don't let an incorporated Alamo suck it dry of what it needs.
Incorporation will be a stepping-stone to unbridled growth, environmental degradation, and create a crime and population explosion, causing a burden on a population that currently has very few citizens to govern it all. Community improvements will take longer with incorporation.
Citizens will still pay ALL county taxes; they just won't get all the services. They will pay TWICE for roads, law enforcement, local etc., all because a few residents want control.
Future 'taxes' require voter approval, but 'fees' do not. To address miscalculations, that $10 business fee can become $50 or $250 without an election. The same is true for the franchise charge to be added to your utility bills. Instead of ?%, it can become 20% almost overnight. New fees for every government regulation and involuntary 'service' imaginable would be on tap. Don't believe me? Look at other incorporated cities where city council members label increases as fees to evade voter approval.
I counted 9 EMPTY store-fronts in Alamo Plaza and Yardbirds has closed so we cannot count on that tax revenue in the future. With the dour economic outlook how many other business' will close in the next few months.
I am part of the group opposing the incorporation of Alamo. We have asked that the issues surrounding this upcoming vote be aired in public. To that end, we challenged Vicki Koc, the President of AIM who is pushing for incorporation to a debate. Instead, the pro-incorporation group has ignored us and held one-sided "faires and open houses" telling only their side of things.
The mayor of a neighboring community told me that "you could go to bed tonight and tomorrow morning you could have a franchise fee on anything the town heads decided. You have nothing to say about it."
It's not fair that a handful of wantabe politicians want to dictate the irreversable fate of our Alamo. If they truely cared and felt like they were doing the right thing, more time and care would have been taken and more open public forums would have been held.
AIM is not interested in Alamo's majority of residents. The selfish and immediate goal is to continue the blind, self-designated leadership in a community they never lead or had majority support to achieve such leadership.
Methinks the person(s) espousing incorporation are pursuing the process of incorporation with a minimum of explanation and communication and a maximum of political campaigning and "pit bull" antics.
I like Alamo just the way it is. I don't feel it needs to grow a city or a city hall with employees that are going to require my taxes and tell me what to do with my property. I can't see how any services that a city might provide are going to give us more than we have now.