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Victoria approved tax rate increases revenue

By Melissa Crowe
Sept. 10, 2013 at 4:10 a.m.
Updated Sept. 11, 2013 at 4:11 a.m.


BY THE NUMBERS

$48.99 million

General fund

$25 million

Water/wastewater fund

$26.05 million

Water/wastewater capital projects

Victoria will see $940,000 in increased property tax revenue as a result of the City Council's action Tuesday.

The council voted 6-1 to set the tax rate to 59.96 cents per $100 valuation, a decrease of .6 cents.

Property taxes make up less than a third of the total $150 million budget, Mayor Paul Polasek said.

The tax rate approved Tuesday will increase revenue by 5.34 percent; of that, about $500,000 is from new revenue, Finance Director Gilbert Reyna said.

An owner of a $100,000 home will owe $599.60 in property taxes.

"Staff made a real good case for the things they need," Polasek said. "The desire to lower taxes is equally offset by the public's desire to get things done."

In the final vote to set the tax rate and adopt the budget, both issues passed 6-1, with Councilman David Hagan voting against.

Hagan has advocated to lower the tax rate to the effective rate, which would bring in the same amount of revenue as the current budget.

Councilman Tom Halepaska has argued the tax rate should stay the same as the current year.

"There's a realization by council that real needs are not going to get cheaper," Halepaska said. "They need to be addressed now."

The budget includes raises for certified firefighters and police officers, as well as funding for the city's capital improvement program, residential street needs, storm drainage and utility system maintenance.

It also provides funding to address environmental issues while maintaining public safety, parks and library services, as well as replacing equipment. It also maintains the fund balance and reserves.

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