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Public will get chance to weigh in on property tax, budget

By DAVID TEWES
Aug. 24, 2010 at 3:24 a.m.


The public will get a chance to comment on the city's proposed property tax rate and budget on three dates.

The dates are Sept. 7, Sept. 9 and Sept. 14.

Property owners in Victoria likely won't know until next month what the property tax rate will be for the budget year starting Oct. 1.

The city council agreed Tuesday to vote on the budget and the tax rate on Sept. 7, Sept. 9 and Sept. 14. There will also be public hearings for both items on those dates.

Council Member David Hagan said after the meeting he is opposed to raising the tax rate given the economy.

"I'd support going down on the rate, but not above the current rate," he said. "Victoria residents are hurting and we need to let people keep as much of their money as possible."

Mayor Pro Tem Paul Polasek, who has pushed for lowering the tax rate in the past, said he's reserving judgment for now.

"It's too early," he said. "We're not through looking at the budget."

The city's current tax rate is 64.5 cents for each $100 of taxable property value. The staff has proposed raising it to 65 cents, which is still below the effective tax rate of 65.21 cents.

The effective rate would raise about the same income as the previous year, not including new property added to the tax roll.

The 65-cent rate would increase the tax bill on a $100,000 house about $5, assuming no increase in value, Finance Director Gilbert P. Reyna Jr. has said. But he said according to the appraisal district, 50 percent of the residential appraisals when down, 16 percent stayed the same and 34 percent increased.

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