Public hearing on tax rate set, budget

In News by Reporter News

At the request of Pearland City Council, the city’s proposed tax rate is lower than originally expected.

At a budget workshop in July, city staff recommended a total rate of $0.7193 per $100 of valuation, an increase of $0.7121 over the current rate and representing about a $100 increase for the average homeowner.

But a majority of council asked staff not to exceed the rollback tax rate and to also lower the debt service rate.

“Obviously that does impact our general fund revenue, and our ability to fund things,” City Manager Clay Pearson said during a special meeting Aug. 17.

Councilman Keith Ordeneaux didn’t support the lower rate, stating it is better to let citizens decide the matter a possible rollback election.

“I like the idea of going over the rollback rate and letting the residents have a say in doing what I feel we should do today, instead of putting it off until tomorrow,” he said, referring to the city’s to-do list that includes sidewalk and street maintenance.

The proposed tax rate is now $.7053, lower than the current tax rate.

“If the average residential tax value did not change at all, you would actually see a reduction of 13 cents in the tax bill,” City Finance Director Claire Bogard told the council. “If you took the average residential revaluation of 6.3 percent, the tax bill would go from a little over $1,300 to $1,374.

“So, for an average of 20 cents a day, residents will get two new fire stations opening, two new parks, enhanced police staffing, just to name a few of the services in the budget.”

Based on 2014 numbers, city taxes make up about 27 percent of an average Pearland resident’s total tax bill of about $5,000, which includes school district and county taxes. Pearland ISD makes up a little more than half.

A required public hearing on the city’s budget and tax rate is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 31.

A second public hearing on the budget and tax rate is set for Sept. 8, with a first reading scheduled on Sept. 14. Final adoption of the budget as well as the city’s five-year capital improvement plan is expected by City Council on Sept. 21.

Public hearings and council meetings are held at 3519 Liberty Dr.

For more budget information and updated council agendas and meeting videos, visit www.pearlandtx.gov.

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