Update for August 28, 2014

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City’s proposed tax rate stays put

By William Hoover
Anvil Herald Correspondent

Hondo City Council members on Monday set the tax rate at the current rate of 40.89¢ per $100 valuation while they consider the budget for the upcoming 2015 fiscal year. City Manager Jeff Litchfield told council the effective tax rate, the rate that would provide the city the same amount of tax income as last year, is 38.97¢ per $100. The rollback rate was calculated at 41¢ per $100.

The rollback rate is the highest rate allowable before voters can petition for a tax rate election.

“If the tax rate proposed by the city for adoption exceeds either the effective tax rate or the rollback rate, it requires us to hold two public hearings,” said Litchfield. “It has been requested that we keep that tax rate at .4089. That would generate about an extra $59,045 in taxes based on the information provided by the tax assessor-collector.”

“How much would that tax rate generate for the general fund?” asked Mayor Jim Danner.

“Based on our adjusted taxable value of $257 million, it would be $866,858,” said Litchfield. “That is the calculation at full collection.”

“This is preliminary, so we can go ahead and schedule the required public hearings on the tax rate,” noted Danner.

Place 1 Councilman Sammy Nooner offered the motion to set the proposed tax rate at 40.89¢ per $100 valuation. The motion passed unanimously after a second from Place 5 Councilman Johnny Villa.

Council will hold the first public hearing on the proposed tax rate during its regular council meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 8. A second public hearing on the proposed rate will be held during a special meeting at 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 15.

On Monday, Sept. 22, council is scheduled to convene in regular session at 6 p.m. in city hall to adopt the budget and tax rate to support it.

• In budget-related news, council approved an ordinance amending the budget by $25,000 to fund repairs to the Rick Taylor Recreation Center’s air-conditioning system.

• Council further approved a resolution reallocating the remaining $89,528 from Certificates of Obligation issued in 2007 toward future street projects.

• After holding a workshop on peddler and solicitor permits, council directed the city attorney to tighten up restrictions on the permits and consider increasing the fee and/or reducing the length of time the permit is valid.

The $25 solicitor and peddler permits are issued by signature of the City Secretary, enforced by the Hondo Police Department and are currently valid for one full year, according to Code Compliance Supervisor Gilbert Contreras.

“The concerns are about the number of peddlers on Highway 90 and the length of time of the permit,” said Danner. “A couple of councilmen have heard complaints from our local merchants about the length of time some of these folks are out on the highway selling the same kind of products they are.”

• The next regular meeting of the Hondo City Council will be held Monday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m. in city hall. The meeting is open to the public.


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