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Kyle Mayor Lucy Johnson.

STAFF REPORT

KYLE — Calling 2012 “a banner year for our community,” Kyle Mayor Lucy Johnson said in her annual “State of the City” address that the city is moving forward.

Johnson spoke to about 140 people at the Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce (KACC) February luncheon.

Among the highlights Johnson mentioned from 2012 were the opening of a 20,000 square foot new public library, the opening of Lake Kyle Park as the new home of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department (PARD), and 8,000 square feet of new office space for the Kyle Police Department (KPD) in the remodeled former Wells Fargo Bank building.

Johnson said she is hoping for more to come, including the possible passage of a $36 million road bond for six key road projects. Johnson said the city council plans to have the projects each engineered first, then build the projects one-by-one on an annual basis with hopes that such an approach would minimize the tax impact of the bonds. If the city were to undertake all the projects simultaneously after passing the bond, Johnson said the tax impact on a $140,000 home would be about $200 per year.

However, Johnson said the council’s plan leaves open a possibility, which she conceded is unlikely, that the tax impact for the bonds would be zero. For that to happen, Johnson said property values in the city would have to grow by two percent every year for the next six years, while the city also maintains its record 12 percent sales tax growth of 2012 for the next six years.

“Just like the 2008 county road bond, it would be hard to tell where the eventual rate would fall, depending on future interest rates, construction costs and other unforeseen events,” Johnson said. “But it is important to know both the best and worst case scenarios.”

With 38 new businesses opening in Kyle in 2012, the city collected a record $3.5 million in sales taxes. Business growth also dropped the city’s unemployment rate to 3.8 percent while the city’s taxable assessed value climb to $36.4 million.

“As the city continues to grow past 30,000 in population, proper planning is more important than ever,” Johnson said. “This past year the city council has focused on improving the quality of development on the IH-35 corridor, preserving property values for the long-term and promoting economic sustainability throughout the entire town.”

 

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