Council Approves 2015 Budget

The West U City Council on Monday approved a $34.3 million 2015 city budget.
The budget lowered the tax rate in West U, but homeowners will see an increase of 5.8 percent in the taxes they pay due to higher property values.
The council lowered the tax rate from 37 cents per $100 of property value to 36 cents per $100. But, the Harris County Appraisal District recently appraised all properties in the Houston region.
In West U, HCAD appraised all properties at a total value of nearly $4.9 billion. Residential property values went up by 10.3 percent.
According to HCAD, the average home in West U is now valued at $898,000. With the city’s new property tax rate, the owner of an average home would pay about $18 more each month in city taxes.
The new city budget includes $12.4 million for personnel; $9.2 million for operating expenses; $227,630 for capital outlays; $3.2 million for transfers between funds, and $9.3 million in debt service payments to retire city bonds.
The proposed budget for will include a minimum pay raise for city employees of 3 percent, with some employees slated for pay raises up to 15 percent. The pay increases were recommended by consultants the city hired last year, in order to make West U’s pay more competitive with other cities in the Houston area.
The city council, in a budget workshop earlier this month, scaled back a proposed increase in fees for solid waste and recycling collections. There will be a slight increase of 60 cents per month for most West U homeowners, but senior citizens’ rates would go up by only 30 cents per month.