Your Atmos Bill is going up

The City Council approved a 25% increase in the Franchise Tax on Atmos Energy tonight, raising the rate from 4% to 5%.  It will raise the average gas bill about fifty cents a month and add about $80,000 a year to the city coffers.

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6 responses to “Your Atmos Bill is going up

  • Mitch Holmes

    Doug,

    I agree this will raise the average monthly gas bill about half a dollar. Whether it will add as much as $80k annually to the city coffers, not a penny, or somewhere in between depends on your opinion of the pork-iness of our city budget and our tendancy to spend. If you think our spending is at least $80k fat, or the $80k will find an unnecessary “need” somewhere else, then yes, its a new revenue for our coffers. If you think our budget and spending are lean and this $80k revenue will serve to relieve the general fund in like amount, then there is no additional revenue; its simply a revenue source shift from Keller’s property tax payers to Keller’s gas users.

    So to the extent debaters don’t want to debate on where to quit spending the $80k margin, and win, the only one left becomes from which of the two sources that $80k should come… property tax payers or gas users.

  • easterwoodc

    Do we have a bill that is associated with Keller or Keller ISD that won’t be going up?

  • Doug Miller

    Mitch,

    I tend to think the fifty cent raise of my gas bill isn’t the end of the world……but….there is always a but with me isn’t there…

    The City Manager stated a few items I would like to correct. Renters, while not paying property taxes directly to the city do in fact pay them…..it just so happens to be included as part of their rent. And just because the “market rate” for the franchise fee is 5% doesn’t mean we should raise the rate just for the sake of raising it. I think you made that point in your deliberation last night.

    Councilman Baker made a point that this new source of revenue could help offset the deficit in the TIF, and I somewhat agree with his statement.

    As far as your other points about the City Budget, I guess Friday we will find out how bad of shape we are in for next year.

  • Mike

    I see above the comment about renters and property tax. As a landlord here in Keller, I assure everyone, my renters are paying property tax. Every month when they pay the rent, I, and all landlords have the property tax figured in the amount of rent we charge. Not only do renters pay property tax. They pay more than the home owner, since we don’t get any exemptions on rental property…..

  • Mitch Holmes

    In fact, Doug, John’s TIF offset argument tipped my vote.

    And the greatest comfort I have going into this year’s budget process is the city manager’s up front, conservative budgeting methods he practiced last year. His contingency plans assure the budget itself is sound (just this week the bond market raised our ratings and offered us very low rates). It’s prioritizing and applying them that are difficult.

  • Big Bob

    I guess Atmos gas is better than using our Electric companies or our water bill! My increase with Atmos gas will average +.85c month based on the previous 12 months bills.

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