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Council sets maximum tax rate increase at 6 percent

Friday, August 10, 2018 by Jack Craver

City Council bound itself to not increasing property tax revenue by more than 6 percent when it approves the Fiscal Year 2018-19 budget next month. That means the maximum city tax rate this year will be 44.2 cents per $100 of property valuation. State law requires local governments to adopt a maximum increase before beginning budget deliberations. The budget proposed by city staff would raise the revenue limit by 4.9 percent. While nobody on the dais said they anticipated raising the rate all the way up to the maximum rate of 8 percent (raising it higher requires voter approval), some suggested that they set 8 percent as the maximum in order to allow as much flexibility as necessary during budget deliberations. Only four members of the dais supported that: Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo and Council members Greg Casar, Delia Garza and Pio Renteria. Mayor Steve Adler and Council members Alison Alter and Ann Kitchen thought that 6 percent was a reasonable way to grant some flexibility while showing support for fiscal restraint. Council Member Ora Houston proposed 5.5 percent, but the motion failed, with only Council members Jimmy Flannigan, Leslie Pool and Ellen Troxclair in support. Afterward, the 6 percent rate was approved unanimously.

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