Category Archives: TIF/TIRZ District Refinance

Comparing TIF Districts

I was quoted in the FWST this weekend and didn’t realize it until today.  I’m still trying to catch up both at home and work from my weeks absense.

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My timer in my truck said the engine was running for a total of 41 1/2 hours between the time I left Ft. Worth last Friday until today when I pulled into the house.  I feel 80 years old right now and trying to get rested up because I’m leaving town again tomorrow for the weekend.  I wish everybody a Happy Easter and thank you for reading the blog.  There are some updates on the petition effort for the TIF/TIRZ and either Jim or I will be updating you on the brick wall we have run into.


Welcome Keller Citizen Readers

Thanks for visiting. For more information and background on our effort to overturn the council’s decision to issue new debt to pay for old debt, please read the category TIF/TIRZ District Refinance.


Commence Lawyering

I have a new post on KCL regarding legal threats to our petition. Check it out.


100 Cups of Coffee

Country singer/songwriter Chris Knight has a song that starts out:

100 Cups of Coffee, 500 Cigarettes

1000 Miles of Highway and I ain’t forgot her yet

These last few days I’ve felt like the first lines of this song. I’m in Illinois trying to take care of some things for the return of my father from the Hospital, his third stay in a little over a week. His stroke has progressively gotten worse, to the point that Friday I was worried if I was going to make it to Illinois in time.

He’s in good spirits but will have a lot of physical therapy to complete before he can get back to normal. It is times like these that you realize how short life is, and I intend to take that to heart moving forward.

I have received some emails asking me if it is wise to back this petition effort on the TIF. My response is that I have nothing to lose. I have been a very outspoken critic of the TIF for nearly a decade, and to walk away from this latest effort that the City Council is undertaking would only show that I have no principles. The other side can run around calling me a nut job all they want……..how is that any different to Chicken Little?

I think I made my presentation to the Council in a very respectful manner, and when asked by Councilman Holmes to clarify items he had questions on, I did it in a manner that proves that I am very well versed in the issues regarding the Town Center TIF District.

Ten miles out of nashville, I was doing a hundred and one
State boy me over and he said, “Where’s the fire, son?”
He said, “Where’s the fire son?”
I said “Man, there ain’t no fire, I’m just running from a flame
Go on and write your ticket, but I ain’t the one to blame”
That county judge tried to rob me blind.

I sit in a state that hasn’t made a serious effort to cut the budget….ever.  They are bankrupt. The police aren’t there to protect and serve, but rather as revenue agents.  The Unions would rather see the state have to become the heaviest taxed in the nation rather than allow a cut.  The roads are in disrepair, they are closing parks, laying off 500 State Troopers, closing prisons…..all because they didn’t make the cuts they needed to make years ago.  And as much as I hate to say it, that could be us in a few years if we don’t make changes today.

So I rolled on down to Memphis,
I had nothin’ left to loose
Wanted to hear some rock n’ roll
But all they played was blues
I didn’t wanna hear no blues

So I went to call up Elvis
But Roger Miller grabbed the phone
He said drive that eighteen wheeler boy
You’re the king of the road
Said I was the king of the road

This is Gary Allan’s cover of Chris Knight’s song…..only thing I could find on YouTube.  Not near the rawness of the original version….my complaint about a lot of country music these days.  Over produced.


A New KCL

Doug and I, and several others, will be launching a petition drive to overturn the council’s (so far) unanimous intent to pay off old debt with new debt, while refusing to even consider budget cuts as an alternative.

And what better occasion to knock the dust off of Keller City Limits? Except this time I’m calling it Keller Citizen Legislature, because that’s effectively what we are.

Keller Citizen Legislature


Finance Lesson

The other night Councilman Cawthra made the statement that there is no difference in what Keller is doing in refinancing its TIF bonds than a homeowner refinancing a house to pay off a car or pay his bills.  My response on the blog was that this is the very reason why this country is in the shape it is in, too many people taking out money in a refinance and when the house value drops, they walk away.

Well, today this article appeared at Bloomberg:

More than half of U.S. borrowers who received loan modifications on delinquent mortgages defaulted again after nine months, according to a federal report.The re-default rate of loans modified in the first quarter of 2009 was 51.5 percent by the end of the year, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision said in a joint report today. The figure, which measures payments at least 30 days late, climbed to 57.9 percent for changes made in the prior 12 months

Modifications are “clearly not working well and it’s not a surprise,” said Sam Khater, a senior economist at First American CoreLogic in Tysons Corner, Virginia. “It’s pointless to rewrite these loans because they’re underwater.”

The number of homes with mortgage payments at least 60 days late climbed 2.39 million in the fourth quarter, up 13.1 percent from the prior three months and 49.6 percent from the year earlier period, the quarterly Mortgage Metrics report said.

This will be the second time the City of Keller has had a “loan modification”, this time it will cost us $2.7 million in extra interest.  The City Council needs a Dave Ramsey course….maybe we can all go together and pay to send them.

Keller couldn’t afford the TIF when it was instituted, that is why they had an escalating repayment schedule.  They couldn’t afford the TIF in 2005, that is why they had to refinance it then, still with escalating payments.  In 2010, instead of either using reserve funds and/or cutting the budget, they are going in for another modification of their loans pushing their debt out another 10 years, hoping this time will be the last. 

How is this any different that what is going on in this story?  The only difference is the Federal Government is bailing out these homeowners, while the Citizens of Keller are bailing out the TIF….once again. 

Too bad we can’t just walk away.