Lubbock City Council gave preliminary approval to setting the property tax rate a cent higher than last year and about four percent above the effective rate on what it calls a balanced budget.
This is the first vote on the proposed budget and tax rate. The city would draw nearly $7 million more in revenue; roughly $2 million of that is from new property added to the appraisal rolls.
The council set a proposed property tax rate of 55.802 cents per $100 valuation. Last year the council set the rate at 54.802 cents per $100 valuation.
Last week Mayor Dan Pope said, as part of a public safety and law enforcement project, last year's rate was set a cent higher than the year prior; this year's rate was expected to be set two cents higher than last year. But city leaders credit growth for the change to setting the rate one cent higher than last year's rate.
The proposed budget includes a reduction in the storm water fee, of at least $18 per year for residential customers.
Looking at what's proposed, for a property that did not see an increase in appraisal value, the average Lubbock homeowner would pay about $15 more in property taxes to the city for the year.
But, on average, appraisals are up five percent around Lubbock. Taking this into consideration, the tax rate is about four percent higher than the effective tax rate of 53.615 cents per $100 valuation. The effective rate shows what would generate the same revenue on properties on the appraisal rolls both last year and this year.
When including the new tax rate and increased appraisals, the average homeowner would pay about $45 more in property to the city for the year.
If you would like to let council members know your thoughts on the proposal, there are two public hearings scheduled: 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27 and 8 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4 in city council chambers. Click here for the city council website.
The council is scheduled to approve the final budget and tax rate Sept. 10.
New parking garage
The new parking garage for Citizen's Tower is expected to be finished in a year and a half.
Council approved shifting some of its savings from tower construction to that project. City leaders say the Citizen's Tower project is ahead of schedule and under budget.
About $423,000 was approved to go to engineering for the parking garage. The entire project is expected to cost about $6.6 million.
City offices will be moving into Citizen's Tower this fall. The council has already scheduled its first meeting in December to be in the new chambers.
Re-zoning for south Lubbock substation
Council approved building a police substation in south Lubbock. The nearly four-acre lot will be near 140th Street and Indiana Avenue.
This is one part of the city's community policing project. The other two substations will be in east and northwest Lubbock.