New Budget: Most West U Homeowners Will See Tax Cut

September 28, 2011

The West U City Council is expecting to hear from residents about the proposed 2012 budget during a public hearing on Oct. 10 at 6:30 p.m.

Council set the date for the public hearing during its meeting on Monday night. Council is expected to adopt a tax rate and a budget on Oct. 24.

The city manager is proposing a property tax rate of $0.18475 for the general fund and a $0.18936 tax rate to fund debt service payments, according to the draft budget on the city’s website. Added together, that gives a total property tax rate of $0.37411 per $100 valuation of property in the city, which is the current tax rate. City Manager Michael Ross said the proposed rate represents a tax decrease because of changes in property valuations.

The average West U homeowner will see a decrease in taxes by $46.06, Ross said.

The proposed budget accounts for $29,783,050 in revenues and plans for $32,144,973 in expenditures.

Property taxes account for 51 percent of the city’s revenue.

The proposed general fund budget, which funds almost all city services, accounts for about $13.9 million in revenues and $14.6 million in expenditures.

The largest portion of the general fund, or 66 percent, accounts for personnel and benefits.

To keep pace with comparable cities in Texas, the budget includes a one percent structure adjustment and salary increase for employees effective Jan. 1, 2012. The budget also includes a merit increase of one-and-a-half percent based on performance on the employee’s anniversary date as recommended by the supervisor.

The city’s contribution rate to the Texas Municipal Retirement System has dropped from 15.71 percent to 10.40 percent.

Required contributions to TMRS are budgeted at $663,800, which is down 33.02 percent, according to the budget.

The city’s contribution rate is based on its plan provisions in effect as of March 1; the actuarial assumptions and methods adopted by the TMRS Board at their May 20 meeting based on the results of the four-year experience study (comparison of actual to expected plan experience during the period from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2009); the restructured funds under the recently passed SB350 legislation; and the reserve fund distribution smoothed interest credit.

Council reduced funding for the TMRS last year by eliminating the cost of living adjustment (COLA). Eliminating the COLA resulted in a savings of $204,000.

According to the draft budget, the city has not yet budgeted for the appropriation of funds for drainage detention.

The fiscal year for the 2011 budget is Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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