Tax Rate Lowered
By Will Johnson
CROCKETT – The city of Crockett is now ready to tackle the upcoming fiscal year (FY) after adopting the city’s 2020-2021 budget and tax rate during a special meeting of the city council held on Monday, Aug. 17.
As the meeting began, Crockett Mayor Dr. Ianthia Fisher welcomed everyone in attendance and noted, “We are going to be filling the open positions for the different (city) boards. I really appreciate how (City Administrator) John (Angerstein) has made one single application so people won’t be placed on a board they really didn’t want to be on. This makes it a lot better, plus, it opens it up to everybody by allowing them to know what positions are available. Our goal is – because of the number of people we have – we shouldn’t have to duplicate people over and over on these small boards.”
Applications for the various boards may be found on the city of Crockett’s website at www.crocketttexas.org, under the Community tab.
After the mayor’s initial greeting, a public hearing was opened concerning the proposed budget of the city of Crockett for FY 2020-2021.
“The budget has been available for public viewing, both here at City Hall and on our website. It has been posted in the newspapers and we have had a banner on the front page of our website. We have received no comments on it,” the city administrator said.
“Most people must be pleased,” Dr. Fisher commented. “Or, they weren’t concerned enough to make any comments on it. However, I do think it looks good overall.”
With no further comments, the hearing was closed. A motion was then made, seconded and unanimously approved to adopt the FY 2021 budget.
The FY 2021 budget is balanced with an expected revenue of $8,590,670 – slightly less than the $8,634,479 in revenue generated during FY 2020.
The next order of business was to open a public hearing on the FY 2021 tax rate.
“I have included in your budget book a Tax Rate Analysis for FY 2021,” Angerstein said. “Our current tax rate is $0.596791 per $100 valuation. The tax rate will be lowered – if approved tonight – to $0.582529. That is right at 1.4 cents less per $100 valuation. That will sufficiently fund the budget as approved tonight.”
With no further comments, the hearing was closed. A motion was then made, seconded and unanimously approved to ratify the FY 2021 tax rate.
The Tax Rate Analysis showed 2020 certified taxable values of $282,033,110 with a 2020 average homeowner property value of $58,948. The $0.58259 per $100 property valuation will result in an average tax rate of $343.39.
This will provide the city of Crockett with an additional $51,897 in revenue when compared to FY 2020. While the tax rate decreased, because of an increase in appraised values, the average homeowner’s property tax will increase by approximately $8.40 from the preceding year.
The overall tax rate is comprised of the maintenance and operations (M&O) tax rate of $0.477512 and the interest and sinking (I&S) tax rate of 0.105017.
The M&O tax rate provides funding for the day-to-day operations of the city while the I&S tax rate “… provides funds for payments on the debt the city has incurred for capital purchases. The current tax burden for debt service on the average homeowner is $61.90,” according to the FY 2021 Tax Rate Analysis.
Before moving on from budgetary matters, the city council also approved the 2020 tax roll.
As the meeting continued, an ordinance pertaining to speed limits within the city of Crockett was brought forward.
“If you remember a few months back, we approved an ordinance which lowered the speed limit from within the loop (Loop 304) down to the Brookshire Brothers area and up to the (courthouse) square. Those have been lowered. At that time, TXDOT was not recommending any changes from the loop to our city limits sign going north, towards Latexo. As they (TXDOT) continued processing data, they’re now recommending a drop from 50 mph to 45 mph, from where the Big’s gas station is, down to the loop. They are going to continue dropping the speed limits heading north, all the way up through Grapeland,” Angerstein said.
The ordinance was unanimously approved.
The final item of business brought before the council concerned the city of Crockett’s retirement system.
“In short,” the city administrator informed the council, “This has to do with the retirement system for full-time employees of the city of Crockett. “We are going to be increasing the employee contribution from five percent to seven percent. The city will continue its 2-to-1 match. Now, instead of paying 10 percent to match their percent contribution, the city will now pay 14 percent to match their seven percent contribution.”
The ordinance was also unanimously approved.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.