Revaluation, not budget, hikes city tax

In News by Reporter News

If the city’s proposed budget is adopted as planned this month, the average homeowner in Pearland will see a tax bill increase next year of $72 — but that includes an anticipated property value increase of 6.37 percent, according to city documents.

If the owner of an average home, which is valued at $187,787, were to get no valuation increase, he or she would pay $13 less in city taxes per the current proposal.

City taxes make up about 27 percent of the average residential yearly tax bill of just over $5,000. The largest share, 51 percent, goes to the school district. Brazoria County makes up 16 percent of the total tax bill, and the Drainage District makes up 6 percent, according to 2014 calculations, which don’t include MUD or college district taxes.

The city’s proposed budget, which underwent a required public hearing and more discussion on Tuesday, is set for a first reading on Monday, Sept. 14, and final approval by City Council on Sept. 21.

The total city tax rate of $0.7053 per $100 valuation is a slight decrease from the current rate of $0.7121.

“Pearland is in a unique position with substantial growth and a lot of pieces in place and positive momentum,” City Manager Clay Pearson said. “It’s up to us now to drive that forward, to keep the positives going and the trends we’re not so happy with – to nudge that in a more positive direction over time.”

Plans and studies that have identified priorities over the past year are part of the city’s budgeting process, he added. This includes moving volunteer firefighters into part-time paid roles, fine tuning traffic signal timing and adding 25 staff positions.

Just under $1 million is proposed for street maintenance. A 2 percent raise is budgeted for city employees, along with a 3 percent annual “step advance” for police officers.

The city’s estimated revenues are under expenditures by $3.5 million, an amount proposed to come from the fund balance, city documents state.

Pearland has made adjustments to its various fees, such as parks membership, rental, animal control and permitting fees.

“As you would expect, the cost of doing business increases, and so there are a variety of modest fee increases,” Pearson said. “Primarily the biggest one would be permit fees.”

City Council meetings are held in Council Chambers at City Hall, 3519 Liberty Dr.

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

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