Mayor discusses new preliminary tax rate in letter to citizens

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By KAROLYN GEPHART

In the weekly recovery letter to Friendswood residents by Mayor Kevin Holland, he mentioned non-disaster information regarding the lowering of the tax rate by the City to a historically low level.

Friendswood City Council is considering a proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18 that lowers the tax rate by 1.87 cents from the current year.

At the Sept. 11 City Council meeting, a new effective tax rate of 52.73 (52.7349) cents was presented to Council and preliminarily, adopted, according to Holland.

Citing new data received from the Galveston County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office on Sept. 12, the new effective tax rate has been calculated to be 52.7391 cents.

“City Council will vote once again on a proposed tax rate during their Oct. 2 meeting. If the rate voted on during their Sept. 11 meeting is upheld, the City would be adopting a rate lowering taxes,” Holland said. “Over the last 39 years, the City’s total tax rate has decreased by 20 cents.”

Holland reported the spending plan is based on proposed revenue of $56.364 million and expenditures of $56.304 million.

“An extraordinary amount of revenue comes from bonds approved by voters in 2013. The unusually high level of expenditures includes numerous capital projects, such as the rebuilding of Woodlawn Drive, portions of Blackhawk Boulevard, and City-wide street maintenance,” Holland said.

Holland pointed out some of the highlights of the proposed budget included capital lease funding of $700,000 for Police Department radios, an increase in health insurance costs and personnel additions including an Information Technology Support Specialist, primarily for Public Safety data and infrastructure security, a Parks Maintenance Worker and a Public Works Streets Laborer.

The budget and tax rate adoption will be Oct. 2.

The original proposed budget is online at https://imageserv11.team-logic.com/mediaLibrary/246/CITY_OF_FRIENDSWOOD_FY18_PROPOSED_BUDGET.pdf.

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