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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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March 18, 2015     Hays Free Press
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March 18, 2015
 

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@ HaysFreePress.com ree ress March 18, 2015 Page 1D PHOTO BY MOSES LEOS III The Kyle City Council recently approved the use of the Downtown Business Revitalization Program beyond the Central Business District. The expanded pro- gram requires a business capital investment of under $1 million to apply. BY MOSES LEOS III moses@haysfreepress.com A program meant to assist in revitalizing downtown Kyle will be expanding, gi ng more businesses in the corridor a chance to participate. That's the goal for the Kyle City Council, which voted 6-0 on March 3 to expand the Downtown Business Revitalization Program beyond the Central Business District (CBD). City Manager Scott Sellers said the expansion will provide a chance for the city to further enhance downtown. "It's a good demonstra- tion of the city's commit- ment to our core down- town district, which is the heart of any community," Sellers said. Expansion of the cur- rent scope was initiated when Mayor Todd Web- ster and Mayor Pro-Tem Diane Hervol received inquiries from interested business owners about the grant. Webster said he was approached by three businesses interesting in applying. One of the busi- nesses, Down South Rail- house on Center Street, was located beyond the original district boundar- ies. That led Hervol to bring the idea of expanding the scope to the Eco- nomic Development and Tourism Committee in February; discussion soon Under the new rules, council can approve a grant application outside of the CBD if "they are likely to benefit the revitalization of the downtown area." followed to the council dais. Under the new rules, council can approve a grant application outside of the CBD if, "They are likely to benefit the revi- talization of the down- town area." ForWebster, who said he has supported the ...... grant since its inception, it provides the city an opporUmity to incentivize beautification projects on public property. "I'm excited that the council supports it and Economic Development supports it," Webster said. The program, which dates back to 2005, was revived in October after a five-year hiatus. It focuses on providing reimburse- ment for businesses that seek to improve their fa?ades in the downtown district. Kyle's program provides up to $25,000 in matching grants, provided business- es follow certain guide- lines, and can provide proof of their expendi- tures. Only businesses with a capital investment of under $1 million can apply. J A lack of funding forced the city to shelve the program in 2009. Kyle brought the program back during the fiscal year 2015 budget session. A total of $50,000 was appropriated, with the primary focus on the CBD- 1 and CBD-2 areas. That was added to $50,000 held over for the program from 2014. According to Hervol, DOWNTOWN, 4D BY ANDY SEVILLA andy@haysfreepress.com Buda and Kyle, which each took in about $400,000 in sales tax collections this month, experienced revenue increases of almost 30 percent when compared to March 2014. Buda collected $400,700 in sales tax revenue this month, up 27.1 percent over its $315,000 collection last March. Meanwhile, Kyle collected $383,000 this month, marking an increase of 27.9 percent over its $300,000 sales tax revenue in March 2014. Sales tax revenues this month represent sales made in January. So far this year, Buda has collected $1.16 mil- lion in total sales tax revenue, and Kyle has received $1.13 million, according to the Texas Comptroller's Office most recent sales tax figures. Dripping Springs also collected close to 30 per- cent in sales tax revenue this month, according to the comptroller's report. Dripping Springs received $118,000 in sales tax collections this month, up 27.3 percent over its $93,000 alloca- tion last March. In the first three months of 2015, Dripping Springs has collected a total $417,000. Wimberley, which collected $43,300 in sales tax revenue this month, experienced a 17 percent gain over its collection last March, according to the comptroller report. Wimberley received $37,000 in revenue in March 2014. From January through March, Wimberley has collected a total $184,700 in sales tax revenues, outpacing its collections during the same months last year by 13.6 percent. In eastern Hays County, Niederwald and Uhland both experi- enced double-digit in- creases this month when compared to the same month last year. Niederwald, which collected $1,800 in sales tax revenue this month, saw an increase of 15.5 percent over its $1,500 collection during the same month last year, according to the report. Uhland collected $11,100, marking an 18 percent gain over its $9,400 collection last March. San Marcos, which collected the highest dollar amount of any other city in Hays Coun- ty, experienced sales tax growth of slightly less than five percent this month over last March. America's fastest grow- ing city, San Marcos, received $1.8 million in sales tax revenue this Local gov't Buda Dripping Springs Kyle Current rate 1.50% 1.25% 1.50% Net payment this month $400,692.90 $117,892.39 $383,110.21 Change from March 2014 to 2018pa Maroh 2016 +27.13% +27.31% +27.85% tO date $1,377,993.59 $417,365.83 $1,367,596.22 Niederwald1.00% $1,774.14 +15.52% $6,039.90 San Marcus 1.50% $1,809,020.11+4.60% $7,093,197.98 Uhland 1.50% $11,122.99 +17.81% $28,710.42 $43,337.91 Wimberley i) i)ii!!iiiiii 1.00% +16.78% ii!i!!i!77! i iiiiiiiiii!iii $184,747.10 ) 2014t0 6 +18.35% +17.88% +21.31 % +22.55% +7.15% +24.47% +13.63% month. Last March, the ceived $4 million in total nesses all over the state," city received $1.7 mil- sales tax revenue in the Hegar said in a state- lion, according to the first quarter of 2015.ment. comptroller's report. Statewide this month, "Receipts from manu- So far this year, San Texas Comptroller Glenn facturing and wholesale Marcos has collected Hegar will distribute and retail trade showed $7.1 million in total $590.1 million in rev-strong growth," he revenue, enue to cities, counties, added. 'Tknd despite the Hays County, which transit systems and decline in oil and natural collects a half-percent of special purpose taxinggas prices, tax receipts every sale made within districts, from the oil and natural its borders, collected "This marks the 59th gas sector were once $1.1 million in sales tax consecutive month of again up sharply over revenue this month, year-over-year growth-- last year." That collection marks an an encouraging sign that The statewide revenue 8.8 percent increase over Texas' diverse economic this month is up 6.7 per- its $1 million revenue engine continues to cent compared to March last March. drive spending growth in 2014. Hays County has re- households and busi- ma Financial Focus by Janet Ross Ior the past few years, ] the stock market has moved up fairly steadily, with no major "corrections." But thus far in 2015', we've already seen periods of volatility-- enough, in fact, to make some investors jittery. Nervous investors may be more prone to make deci- sions based on short-term market movements -- so how can you stay calm? First of all, when evalu- ating your investment decisions, stay focused on those factors that have historically driven stock prices. The U.S. economy is growing at a reasonably good pace, and corporate earnings remain fairly strong. Plus, stocks may not be as undervalued as they were a few years ago -- as measured by the price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) -- but they still aren't overly expensive, either. Things can change, of course, but when market volatility seems to be prim afi!y caused by short-term events, such as plunging oil prices, it's important to look beyond the headlines to these less glamorous, but probably more important, funda- mentals of good investing. By doing so, you can help avoid making fear-driven investment choices. What else can you do to help ensure that you don't let feelings of anxiety influence your investment moves? For one thing, , evaluate your investment mix. If you own too many stocks and stock-based vehicles, you could take a big hit if stock prices fall sharply during periods of volatility. Historically, however, bond prices have typically increased when stock prices fell-- although, of course, there are no guarantees. So, if your portfolio consists of stocks and bonds, you are better positioned to weather the harshest ef- fects of market turbulence. To further prepare yourself for downtums, you may also want to diversify your fixed-in- come holdings to include investments such as U.S. Treasury bills, certificates of deposit (CDs) and municipal bonds. The percentages of each type of investment within your portfolio should be based on your goals, risk toler- ance and time horizon. Finally, you can help yourself maintain an even-keeled approach to investing by always look- ing for quality. Typically, higher quality investments fare better during market declines and recover more quickly when the markets rebound. How can you judge whether a particu- lar investment is of good "quality"? A long'term track record is useful to study. It's certainly true that, as you have no doubt heard, "past performance is no guarantee of future results," but it's nonethe- less valuable tohow a particular stock, for example, has performed in various economic en- vironments. If it seems to SPRING CLEANING, 4D + F ~ :~ i :ltli It tiIill I i [ 'i I/ ii mi II i