Public may comment on tax rate, budget proposals before final adoption
Sept. 12, 2010 at 4:12 a.m.
The public will get one more chance Tuesday to comment on the proposed $160 million budget and property tax rate for Victoria.
The council will have a public hearing before taking the final vote adopting the budget and tax rate. Both will take effect Oct. 1.
Both have been approved on split votes in the first two readings and appear to be destined to pass by a split vote on the final reading.
Mayor Will Armstrong said the recommendations have come from a professional team working for the city.
"They have recommended this budget," he said. "I have confidence in their ability and the work they've done to bring it to us."
But Council Member David Hagan said he will continue to vote against both proposals.
"We're in a double dip recession," he said. "I'd rather see us cut the budget further rather than make the taxpayers pay any extra money."
The city staff has proposed increasing the property tax from 64.5 cents for each $100 of taxable property value to 65 cents. The proposed rate is still below the effective rate of 65.21 cents, or the amount that would bring in about the same income as the previous year.
That would result in about a $5 increase on a $100,000 house, assuming no increase in value.
Mayor Pro Tem Paul Polasek said that increase has nothing to do with the higher property tax. It's influenced by other factors, he said.
One includes the tax freeze approved by voters for those who are 65 years old and older. As that population grows, so does the loss of income to the city and that loss has to be made up somewhere, Polasek said.
He also noted that some of the appraised values are being contested and that might result in them being lowered, resulting in further loss of income.
City Manager Charles Windwehen said another factor is the change in appraised values. Half of the appraised values went down, 16 percent remained unchanged and 34 percent went up.