by BRAD ROLLINS
Existing development along FM 110 could generate as much as $60.7 million in county property tax revenue over the next quarter century, consultants told the Hays County Commissioners Court this morning.
County officials hope to fund the 13¼-mile eastern loop by dedicating some or all of ad valorem tax collected from property owners along the parkway to paying the $48 million estimated construction cost.
Assuming no tax rate increases but a seven-percent increase in appraised values, a so-called Transportation Reinvestment Zone along FM 110 would capture $20 million to $60.7 million in county property taxes depending on how much land the zone encompasses, said Travis Jones of Austin-based public policy consulting firm TXP Inc. The firm was also commissioned to study how much property tax revenue the city of San Marcos could collect from a similar reinvestment zone along FM 110; that analysis is not completed yet.
Besides the 7 percent increase — in line with the the overall countywide compounded annual growth rate in appraisal values between 2001 and 2011 — the projections assume no major new commercial or residential development along FM 110.
In addition to the $48 million construction estimate for FM 110, right-of-way acquisition and engineering is expected to cost another $12 million. Interest payments could bring the total price tag to the $70-$75 million range, said transportation consultant Mike Weaver, who emphasized the interest calculation is a rough estimate.
FM 110 is part of a broader $123 million package of road improvements negotiated between Texas Department of Transportation officials and Hays County Commissioners Will Conley and Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe. The Texas Transportation Commission is expect to formalize the deal at its April 25 meeting.
About 2,750 new homes are expected to be built by 2035 in eastern San Marcos in areas that would be accessed by FM 110, according to the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. The Texas Data Center expects Hays County‘s population to triple to 474,802 by 2050.
“To put that growth into context, that’s like adding another San Marcos, Kyle and Buda — plus a Waco. Plus a Round Rock. Plus an additional 13,000 people,” Travis Jones said.
Presentation on Hays County Transportation Reinvestment Zones: