By BILL PETERSON
Editor at Large
KYLE – The Kyle City Council will be officially appraised tonight that the city lost a lawsuit filed by downtown resident Jaime Sanchez over a disputed piece of property. The city could appeal the ruling by a Hays County jury in district court, but it’s unlikely.
The court jury ordered a judgment of $35,000 for Sanchez. Kyle reportedly spent $50,000 on legal fees, meaning the case cost the city at least $85,000.
Sanchez purchased a piece of property adjacent to his home during a tax foreclosure sale in 2003, hoping to build a sports bar and restaurant. But when he began to put up a fence, the city told him that old maps indicated the property belonged to Kyle and ordered him to stop.
Sanchez filed suit in 2005. Among Sanchez’ arguments were that the city could do no better than produce a plat from 1883 and a map from 1968, and that the city collected taxes on the property for decades before he purchased it.
Sanchez ran unsuccessfully for the Kyle City Council in 2006, while the suit was active.
The city council also is expected to set a guaranteed maximum property tax rate. After first proposing a rate of 35 cents per $100 of assessed value, the city staff began talking last week about a rate of 37.31 cents. The city presently is taxing 27.07 cents on the present budget.
The city’s effective tax rate for Fiscal Year 2008-09 is 26.73 cents. The effective rate is the rate that would raise the same amount of tax revenue as the city raised from property in FY 2008. The rollback rate is 39.28 cents, though a sales tax adjustment would bring it down to 33.29 cents.Email | Print