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Eagle Ford: Tax increase on horizon in Stockdale
STOCKDALE -- The property-tax rate may increase by 2.63 cents here. During an Aug. 12 special called meeting, the Stockdale City Council approved proposing a rate of 36.67 cents per $100 of assessed value, up from the current 34.04 cents by approximately 7.7 percent.
The public will have a chance to weigh in on the proposed tax rate and budget during public hearings set for Wednesday, Aug. 28, beginning at 6 p.m.
As reported in the Aug. 7 Wilson County News, the city manager was to visit with the Wilson County Appraisal District to clarify tax questions from the council. Among the queries, Stockdale Mayor Ray Wolff had questioned why the city’s tax rate did not include a portion for debt service. The city currently is repaying two U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development loans.
City Manager Banks Akin explained that the city council had been calculating debt payment in the previous two budgets, in anticipation of the USDA loans being awarded.
One debt -- Combination Tax and Revenue Certificates of Obligation totaling $940,000 in principal -- was secured by ad valorem taxes and a pledge of surplus revenue from the city’s water and sewer system. Annual payments are $46,000. This loan was used to expand Wheeler Street and other road projects, anticipated to be completed by Sept. 1.
The proposed tax rate of 36.67 cents per $100 of assessed value includes
26.57 cents for maintenance and operations and
10.10 cents for debt service (a USDA loan payment).
The Wilson County Appraisal District listed the appraised value of taxable property for the city of Stockdale at $50,701,099.
Using a 90-percent collection rate, the city proposes to collect $167,328.83 from property taxes utilizing the new rate.
The city also expects an increase in sales-tax revenue. Akin said the city’s share of proceeds from sales taxes has increased by an average of $1,000 per month for the past year, with sales-tax revenue estimated at $16,800 per month. He said the current 1.5-percent sales tax proceeds are split with the Stockdale Economic Development Corp. (SEDC) -- 1 percent to the city and 0.5 percent to SEDC. This does not include an additional one-quarter percent sales tax voters approved in May, which can only be used to maintain and repair city streets.
Stockdale also will see an increase in hotel/motel tax revenue. Akin said this goes to a designated fund and use is restricted.
Also during the meeting, Akin presented a comparison of the bids received during the council’s Aug. 6 meeting, for collection of residential, commercial, and industrial solid waste and recycling collection services. Wolff warned against discussing the data, since the item was not listed on the meeting agenda. This will be discussed during a called meeting set to follow the public hearings Aug. 28.
In attendance: Mayor Ray Wolff; councilmen Scott Soden, Sherry D. Lambeck, Saul Bosquez, Becky Adams, and Roger Armstrong; City Manager Banks Akin; and City Secretary Thania Santos.
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