At its Monday, Aug. 16 In-Person Regular Meeting, the City Council approved consideration of a lower maximum tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year. The proposed new tax rate is $0.578035, two cents less than the current tax rate of $0.598035. Interim City Manager Bill Atkinson presented the lower proposed rate as part of the proposed FY2022 budget, which totals $157,545,108, including General Fund FY2022 budgeted expenditures of $68,106,191, with transfers.
“We have an exemplary past with respect to financing,” said Interim City Manager Atkinson, “and we have maintained a financially sound government. Not only are we going to have a reduction (in the maximum tax rate), but we have healthy fund reserves, we had the sales tax that came in robustly and property tax improvements, so we will be recommending some additional funding of one-time items from the fund balance.”
Allena Portis, Director of Financial Services, said the proposed rate will result in $47,323,853 in revenue, based upon a 98 percent collection rate.
“The rate is made up of two components – maintenance and operations and the debt service,” said Portis. “Of the revenue generated, $46.2 million will come from existing properties, with $1.2 million generated from new properties.”
Council approved consideration of the proposed new tax rate in a 5-1 vote. Assuming no change in assessed valuation, for a home worth $50,000, the typical property owner would see a $10 tax savings. For a home worth $300,000, the new rate would mean a $60 decrease in taxes.
Missouri City’s proposed $0.578 tax rate is less than the 2020 Tax Year average of $0.582 for counterpart cities such as Baytown ($0.795), Pearland ($0.720), La Porte ($0.710) and Richmond ($0.688).
Mayor Robin Elackatt commended City staff for their work during the budget process, telling the Interim City Manager, “I want to take this opportunity to thank you and Allena and the entire team of directors. A lot of time was spent on this budget. So I just want to say thank you. And it’s great to hear that the tax rate is going from 59 cents to 57 cents.”
The budget does not incorporate debt that could result from the passage of the proposed Nov. 2 bond referendum. Such debt would be included in the calculation of the proposed tax rate in future years.
Interim City Manager Atkinson outlined several organizational priorities that his team will tackle during FY2022, including:
- continued effective COVID-19 response;
- driving economic growth, with a focus on small businesses;
- taking steps toward achieving a higher bond rating through increased funding for pension obligations;
- opening of the new Fire Station #6;
- implementation of the civil service structure by Oct. 1;
- carrying out the 2021 bond election on Nov. 2, 2021; and
- meeting the needs of the community through implementation of the updated City Council strategic plan.
The full proposed budget document is now available to the public and can be viewed via this link on the City’s website: Click Here.
Council and stakeholders will have until Monday, Sept. 20 to review the document, when a budget hearing will be held. “Any changes to the budget can be made between now and Sept. 20,” said Atkinson. The proposed budget is expected to be adopted during that evening’s City Council meeting.
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