NEWS HEADLINES

Boyd City Council eyes increased tax rate

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Boyd City Council is considering increasing property taxes.

At its meeting Tuesday, the council proposed a tax rate of 51 cents, up from last year’s $0.4832.

“It sounds bad that we’re going up on taxes,” said Mayor Pro Tem Rodney Holmes. “But on a $100,000 home, you’re looking at $3.”

Officials lowered the tax rate last year from the previous year’s $0.499.

“We should not have ever cut it last year,” Councilman Mark Culpepper said. “There’s a lot of things we could do.”

This year, the city collected $635,719 with a tax rate of $0.4832. If that rate stays the same, they anticipate generating $670,282 in revenue.

“We’re looking at basically almost $35,000,” Holmes said. “If we went back up to what it was the year before, $0.499, we would be looking at $690,000, basically $20,000 more.”

The projected $55,000 increase in revenue didn’t convince the entire council.

“The police department is looking at a $48,000 increase over their budget from last year,” Culpepper said. “That’s no other department. A $54,000 increase over last year with a .499 tax rate, that takes the PD’s requests but nothing else. I think we should consider 51 or 52 cents.”

After discussion, the council agreed to propose a 51-cent tax rate.

“The cost of everything else on the outside has exploded,” Mayor Rod Bill Scroggins said. “51 cents sounds too way out.”

The proposed rate is still less than that of most surrounding cities.

Decatur taxes property at $0.673 per $100 valuation, while Alvord’s rate is $0.61940. Runaway Bay has a $0.6157 rate; Bridgeport, $0.5875; Rhome, $0.5833; and Newark, $0.5735.

Only Aurora ($0.2833), Chico ($0.48) and Paradise ($0.339) have lower rates.

“If we’re just talking about it, I say we set it high, and we can always come back down just so that we can see,” Councilman Vince Estel said. “We’re talking about roads; we’re talking about other needed improvements.”

Culpepper agreed.

“There’s too many things that need to be considered in our budget,” he said.

Public hearings will be held 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2 and 9 at Boyd Community Center, 420 E. Morton Ave.

WATER CONTRACT

Following a closed discussion, the council entered into a week-to-week contract with U.S. Water Utility Group to operate the city’s water and wastewater department and “fulfill the regulatory requirements.”

Cost is $1,308 per week and includes the execution of TCEQ-required operations.

Former Public Works Director Sam Dorsett took a job as Rhome’s public works director last month, leaving the city of Boyd without licensed personnel.

The arrangement serves as a short-term fix until a more permanent solution is decided on during budget writing later this month.

The temporary arrangement begins Monday.

“Basically it’s just four hours a day to come by and check on things in the morning, check on things in the afternoon and line everybody out,” Holmes said. “We’ll look at a long-term deal when we start the budget.”

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