City Hall

On Sept 10, Taylor’s city hall was open for comments during public hearings for the city’s tax rate and budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Taylor’s tax rate and city budget will be the subject of public hearings Thursday, and citizens will be allowed to make their case at city hall.

On Sept. 10, the Taylor City Council will meet through video conference for a night of hearings, ordinances and other agenda items. The hearings will be about the 2020-21 fiscal year budget and ad valorem tax rate, also known as property taxes. The council will then consider approving ordinances related to each hearing.

The auditorium at city hall will be open to the public beginning at 5:30 p.m. for anyone who wishes to address the council on the budget or tax rate in person. Although council members will not be present at city hall Thursday, this week marks the first time since March that citizens can give in-person comments during a council meeting. Meetings have been conducted virtually since March 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proposed tax rate is 80.9215 cents per $100 valuation. The rate matches the current tax rate for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

City staff reported during the Aug. 13 council meeting that some property valuations had risen. Therefore, despite no increase in the tax rate itself, the increase will generate more funds for the city since affected residents will have to pay more property taxes.

“The tax increase comes from the increase in values on the properties that are being taxed,” said Jeffrey Wood, city director of finance, “so what you’re seeing is any additional tax revenue we’re generating is because of an increase in value and not an increase in the rate itself.”

Mayor Pro Tem Dwayne Ariola supported the “No New Revenue” tax rate, 80.2466 cents per $100 valuation, to help support the community affected by COVID-19. The lower rate would decrease revenue to next year’s city’s budget by approximately $84,000.

In total, the proposed budget would raise more than $320,193 in property taxes than the current fiscal year, which would be a 3.28% increase. Approximately $232,559 of the amount would be raised from new property added to the tax roll.

Budget discussions most recently focused on the city’s animal shelter. An earlier budget draft called for a $10,000 reduction for the shelter due to unused funds. However, after discussion and constituent comments, the council was inclined to fill the gap. City staff was directed to reallocate funds that would have gone toward a Fourth of July fireworks in the event the city needed to take over covering the cost for a display.

For more on the proposed budget, visit https://www.ci.taylor.tx.us/526/budget.

The council meeting will commence Thursday at 6 p.m. on the city’s live video stream at http://www.taylortx.gov/660/Taylor-Videos. To voice a citizen comment for agenda items aside from the public hearings or a subject not listed on the agenda, contact the city clerk’s office at dianna.barker@taylortx.gov prior to 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

For the complete agenda and more information, visit https://www.ci.taylor.tx.us.

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