City council to consider approving budget, lower tax rate and increased utility charges at September 7 meeting


Sulfur Springs City Council has a busy agenda tonight (September 7, 2021), with many financial items to consider, including the proposed budget, tax rate, city utility charges, license fees, forfeiture of assets and EDC budgets. The agenda also includes a rezoning request, a utility easement request, bids for water supply materials for the College Street Road project, and resolutions for playground equipment. for Pacific Park and four requests for 380 agreements.

Budget and tax rate

Order 2783 is an appropriation order for the 2021-2022 fiscal year and Order 2784 sets the tax rate for the 2021-22 fiscal year. The tax rate is calculated on the basis of a 9-page formula set by the state, which can be viewed by clicking here. City council should hold a public hearing prior to these items to allow community members who have questions or wish to speak to city officials regarding the tax rate to do so.

The proposed tax rate is just over a cent lower for the 2021-2022 tax year. This means that instead of paying $ 0.44 per $ 100 of property value, Sulfur Springs taxpayers will have to pay $ 0.42692 per $ 100 of property value, with $ 0.06451 of the designated tax rate. for debt service and the remaining $ 0.36241 for maintenance and operating expenses, depending on Proposed budget 2022, which the city will also consider at the September 7 meeting.

While the tax rate is a bit lower, that doesn’t mean the tax bills will be lower. Most property values ​​are estimated to be higher this year, which, depending on the appraised value of the property, will likely mean that the taxpayer’s property tax bill will continue to rise. The tax rate is calculated using the formula assigned by the state. While city council sets the tax rate, within established parameters, the elected city council has no say in assessments, which are conducted by the assessment district or its representatives.

GENERAL FUND REVENUES – LAND TAX FY 2018-19 per $ 100 property valuation FY 2019-20 per $ 100 property valuation FY 2020-21 per $ 100 property valuation FY 2021-22 per $ 100 of property valuation (proposed)
Maintenance and operation $ 0.38260 $ 0.37204 $ 0.36713 $ 0.36241
I&S (Debt Service) $ 0.057400 $ 0.067960 $ 0.072370 $ 0.64510
Property tax rate Per $ 100 of evaluation $ 0.44000 $ 0.44000 $ 0.44000 $ 0.42692
Sulfur Springs General Fund Income – 2018-2019 property tax rate at the rate currently proposed for 2021-2022

The rate will increase $ 507,107 more in property tax revenue than last year, an increase of 11.3 percent, with $ 52,715 in tax revenue from new properties added to the tax roll in the past year , according to proposed budget information posted for review.

For example, the assessed value of an average homestead in Sulfur Springs was estimated to be $ 105,229 for the 2020-2021 tax year, but would be $ 115,012 for the 2021-2022 tax year. $ 263.01 in 2020-2021 to $ 491.01 in 2021-2022, depending on the Notice of public hearing on tax increase (an increase in overall tax revenue, not the tax rate) released in August by the City of Sulfur Springs.

The asset forfeiture budget, the budget of the Economic Development Corporation, must also be discussed and considered. The city budget and tax rate will be read for the first time at the 7 p.m. meeting on September 7 at the Sulfur Springs Municipal Building, and then presented again later this month in another special council meeting for second reading and final approval.

City utility rates

Three other ordinances as proposed would increase and fix the city’s water, sewer and sanitation rates by about $ 1.33 per city utility bill for residential customers. This would increase the city’s minimum utility bill from $ 47.86 to $ 49.19 per month for residential customers, as proposed.

Monthly water demand charges would drop from $ 7.86 to $ 8.02 for those with water meters less than four inches with monthly demand charges plus a $ 4.05 charge for each 1 000 gallons of water measured. Monthly water rates for active connections to the system with meters of 4 inches or greater would be set at a minimum of $ 939.52 for 0 to 230,000 gallons of water, with an additional charge of 3.78 per. 1,000 gallons of water for any use greater than 230,000 gallons. (see page 110 of the 2022 draft budget to consult Ordinance No. 2785 water flow adjustment)

Ordinance No. 2786 (page 112 of the proposed municipal budget) would increase sewer rates from $ 27.65 to $ 28.10, for use from 0 to 4,000 gallons, and $ 4.07 per thousand gallons of use for more of 4000 gallons, calculated based on water consumption. The proposed 2% sewer tariff increase would help keep pace with inflation, which has increased the cost the city pays for chemicals, materials, and employee salaries to treat wastewater, officials said. the city to a budget work session in August.

Proposed overall increases in city utility bills for an aggregate monthly difference of $ 1.33 per minimum utility bill

Ordinance No. 2787 (pages 112-113 in the draft municipal budget) would increase the city’s sanitation rate (household waste service) by 5%, from $ 12.45 plus tax to $ 13.07 plus tax for manual collection garbage twice a week for each unit, multi-family residences for each unit, and mobile home park for each unit counted in the park. The monthly charge for commercial collection would be $ 26.15 per commercial unit. Commercial rates would be billed per yard from 3 to 8 years depending on the frequency of weekly collection. For a temporary dumpster, one used for less than 6 months), a delivery charge of $ 102.84 would be a charge as well as any other transfer costs. Deputy City Manager / CFO Lesa Smith explained that the City of Sulfur Springs contracts with Sanitation Solutions and Republic Services; their contracts allow the two companies to adjust the rates charged to the city by the CPI in October of each year. As of June 30, 2021, this amount was up 6.1% from June 2020. Last year, contract prices rose 1.3%, but the city did not increase customer rates.

The city council will also be invited, at the 7 p.m. meeting on September 7, to consider approving at first reading the ordinances setting these tariffs, and another establishing a master fee schedule, fees and rates associated with permits, utilities and other services provided by the city. The ordinances, if approved, would be presented again at a meeting later in the month for a second reading and final approval.

Other elements

City Council will also be asked to consider four 380 agreements, one for each of the properties located at 219 Craig Street, 447 Houston Street and Lots 3R and 1R at 410 Houston Street.

Bids will be considered and a contract potentially awarded for water materials for the College Street Road project, adopting an annual investment policy; an easement with Oncor Electric Delivery LLC at Coleman Park Water Tower; an ordinance to change the zoning of Lot 10A of the City Addition at 618 Oak Avenue from multi-family (one house) to light commercial, for future commercial use; to allow updated service credits; final reading of an application to rezone 1.89 acre lot 3R-3 at 125 Weaver Drive, from heavy industry to multi-family, with a view to potential future residential development on the site; and play equipment for Pacific Park.

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