San Marcos council members voted unanimously on Tuesday to propose the same property tax rate for next budget year, which begins Oct. 1.
Keeping the current tax rate would result in tax increases for some property owners and decreases for others, depending on how their property was valued in comparison to last year, said Steve Parker, the city’s finance director.
In order to collect the same amount of property tax revenue next year as it will this year, the city would have to increase the property tax rate slightly because appraised property values declined slightly, Parker said. The current tax rate is $0.5302 per $100 of taxable valuation, which Parker said will result in $105,300 less tax revenue for the city. By not increasing the ad valorem tax rate this fiscal year, the city made about $750,000 less than it did last year in property taxes, Parker has said.
The city council is scheduled to vote on the budget on Sept. 20. The city staff propose a public hearing on the budget and on utility rates on Sept. 6.
City staff now propose water and wastewater rate increases of three percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, in each of the next two budget years (FY 2012 and FY 2013).
According to city staff, the new proposed water and wastewater rate increases mean $1.25 more for average monthly residential customers using 2,400 gallons of water per month; $2.01 more for users of 5,000 gallons; and $3.49 more for users of 10,000 gallons.
Staff propose 20 percent drainage rate increases in FY 2012 and FY 2013, which they said would amount to $1.12 more for the average residential customer. No increase in the electric utility rate is proposed.
The last rate increase was approved in 2006, Parker said. Since then, water and wastewater costs have increased by $5.9 million for mandated and contractual obligations, including the cost of water and treatment, according to the city.
City staff propose a balanced budget for FY 2012 totaling $149.5 million, including $43.5 million in the General Fund, $28.8 million for the Water/Wastewater Utility, and $51.8 million for the Electric Utility. The beginning, unrestricted debt fund balance for FY 2012 is proposed to be $4,008,967. Parker said recently that the city’s total outstanding debt is $76,840,000.
“We managed to defer about $43.4 million in new bond projects in 2011 and 2012,” said Parker this month. “All we’re actually anticipating is about a $5-7 million bond issue in the electric utility this year.”