Castroville moving toward budget, tax rate adoption

     Castroville City Council met in a special called meeting on Tuesday to hold the first hearing on the $14.468 million 2020-21 Fiscal Year budget, and the second hearing on the supporting property tax rate of $0.495178 per $100 valuation to fund the budget. The city’s current tax rate is $0.507771 per $100 valuation.

     Council also reviewed an updated comprehensive fee schedule that will reflect current and new city service fees.

     No citizens chose to comment during the tax rate hearing. The hearing on the tax rate opened at 5:06 and concluded at 5:08.

     The tax rate of $0.495178 per $100 valuation is the 2020-21 rollback rate, or voter approval rate. The no new revenue tax rate, or effective rate, is $0.484853 per $100 valuation.

     The average Castroville homestead’s taxable value increased by $21,375 this year, bringing the average home’s taxable value up from $187,817 in 2019 to $203,192 in 2020, according to numbers provided by Finance Director and Interim City Administrator Leroy Vidales.

     Last year, the taxes on a average valued home were $948.89. Under the proposed tax rate, the owner of the average $203,192 home in Castroville would pay $1,006.16 in property taxes this year.

“These are our revenues and expenditures for every fund that we have,” Vidales told council in the budget hearing while showing them a Power Point presentation of the budget numbers. “That’s the general fund, airport fund and utility fund and the other small miscellaneous funds that we have.

     “In the general fund, utility fund as well as the airport fund, we have a balanced budget, where our revenues meet our expenditures,” he added.

     “Does anyone have any outstanding questions or concerns about the budget?” asked Mayor Pro Tem Darrin Schroeder. 

     Council members said they had no questions.

     “Great job on this,” Schroeder told city staff. “I appreciate all the work everybody has put into this. It is a lot of work and we got kind of a late start on it. We made some great progress and I like having a nice balanced budget. It’s very methodical. Thank you.”

     With no one else wishing to speak, Schroder closed the public hearing on the FY 2020-21 budget at 5:12 p.m. 

    “We had revenues and transfers in of $14,324,987,” explained Schroeder of the total budget after the meeting. “The expenditures and transfers out were $14,468,164.

     “I’m adamant about a balanced budget and our expenditures are just over $143,000 more than what our revenue was,” he added of the deficit budget after the meeting. “That was specifically because our fund balances were too high. In the general fund, you want three months minimum of reserve fund balance, and six months is healthy. We had ten months. So we spent some extra money to specifically draw those fund balances down.”

      Council will vote to approve the budget and tax rate at their next regular meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

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