City of Tyler proposes 1 cent tax increase

Local News

The city of Tyler has proposed a property tax rate increase of one cent for the 2015-2016 budget.

According to a press release from the city, the proposed tax rate would move from 22 cents to 23 cents per $100 valuation. The funds are to be used for street repair and maintenance projects.

“This increase will create a new, sustainable source of revenue to repair cracks in our roadways, ensuring they do not continue to erode and turn into more costly reconstruction projects,” said City Manager Ed Broussard.

According to the city, a home valued at $150,000 would be assessed city property taxes of approximately $335 per household per year. This would translate to an increase of $15 annually and would placed into a separate fund to pay cash street repair and maintenance projects.

“We’re going to be able to do 32 lane miles of seal coating with those funds,” says Mayor Martin Heines.  “If you had debt in it, you could only do 16 because half the money goes to interest.”

Tyler will continue its property tax freeze for those over 65 and disabled who have applied for the benefit.

The city gave four other city’s tax rates for comparison (approximate population in parenthesis):

Waco – 77.6 cents per $100 (~130,000)

Denton – 68.9 cents (~128,000)

Pearland – 70.5 cents (~103,000)

Killeen – 74.9 cents (~138,000)

Below are other East Texas city tax rates:

Jacksonville – 65.9 cents (~15,000)

Longview – 50.9 cents (~82,000)

Lufkin – 50.3 cents (~36,000)

Nacogdoches – 56.3 cents (~34,000)

“When homeowners pay their property taxes, only a little over 10 percent is for the City,” explained Broussard. “The other 90 percent goes to Tyler Independent School District, Smith County and Tyler Junior College.”

Additionally, Broussard proposed a one percent increase to franchise fees for commercial waste haulers.

Due to rising health care costs, employee premiums will increase. Though the City will be unable to budget pay increases for the coming year, they will ensure that all employees are brought to a living wage minimum of $10.55.

The majority of Tyler’s public services are paid by the one percent sales tax, according to the city. Sales tax revenues are down nearly 2.32 percent compared to last year’s actuals. The City is currently $1,537,440 below budgeted sales tax revenues year to date for the General Fund, with two months remaining in the fiscal year.

As a result, the City of Tyler has implemented a city-wide hiring freeze until the beginning of the new fiscal year, as well as deferred replacement and maintenance on city equipment, such as computers and vehicles, to balance the current budget.  

Opportunities for public input on the budget are available by attending one of two Council meetings at Tyler City Hall, 212 N. Bonner Ave. on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 9 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 31 at 9 a.m.

Final adoption of the budget is scheduled for the September 14 meeting at Tyler City Hall.

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