"And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities."
Good for them:
Last month, it was announced that Von Ormy likely will become the first municipality in Bexar County to eliminate its property tax and shift to a consumption-based tax system.
By proposing to eliminate the property tax, Von Ormy officials are not only establishing a pro-growth benchmark for other cities to follow but also challenging Texans to question the need for a property tax in the first place. The implications could have an effect on tax policy for years to come.
How did Von Ormy get here?
After incorporating in 2008 to provide basic city services to this underserved community of South Bexar County residents, the nascent city set a property tax rate of 39 cents per $100 valuation, based on an average of surrounding communities. While it was sufficient for its needs, low property valuations — and the deepening recession of 2008 — meant a limited property tax revenue stream going into city coffers.
That was when Von Ormy did something extraordinary — not only did it provide services within its tax rate, the city was so efficient that it cut taxes the next year. Then city leaders kept doing it. Every year that Von Ormy has existed, they've cut the property tax rate by at least 10 percent using surplus sales tax revenue.
Lower taxes, no fees and few regulations have encouraged strong local growth. As a result of fostering a pro-growth economic environment, Von Ormy's revenues have exploded, with more than a 30 percent increase expected in the coming fiscal year.
Some might wonder if such measures mean meager city services. In fact, they do not. Among other things, Von Ormy's budget this year proposes building a new police station and city park, for which the city will pay cash and incur no debt.