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City of Boyd eyes tax increase for projects

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, August 25, 2018
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After delivering a 6-cent cut last year, the city of Boyd is looking to increase the tax rate by 4 cents this year to tackle several priorities, including police protection, streets and water projects.

The Boyd City Council held a public hearing Tuesday on the tax rate of 59.99 cents per $100 valuation and the proposed $3.437 million budget – $2.408 million for the general fund and $1.029 million for water/wastewater. The city will hold a second hearing on the tax rate Sept. 4.

The proposed tax rate is 5.5 cents above the rollback rate of 54.54 cents. The effective rate, the rate to bring in the same revenue as the year before, is 47.58 cents.

The projected rate is 2 cents below the 2017 rate of 61.99 cents.

“It’s two pennies lower than ’16-’17; yet, it’s 4.5 cents more than last year,” said Boyd City Administrator Greg Arrington. “But with the added things you really wanted this year – public safety, you wanted 24-hour [service]. And you wanted significant improvements on the road. This budget addresses both of those things.”

The city’s tax roll increased by 16.7 percent to $133.9 million. The increase in property values and tax rate will bring in $161,020 more in revenue than last year for the general fund reserves. The city will also have an influx of $720,000 as the first installment of the Texas Water Development Board loan to get its water project shovel ready for next year.

“The average home value in Boyd is $139,000. This is about $6 per month of an increase,” said Mayor Rodney Holmes. “On the survey we did a few years ago, citizens said they would be willing to pay a little more to get better streets, better water and better parks. We’re all citizens up here, and we all said we’d be willing to pay a little bit more. That’s a breakfast at Mel’s one day. Our job now that we are getting the money is to follow through. The citizens need to see these done.”

In the budget, the city is looking to put $90,000 aside for street and drainage repair and maintenance. Police salaries are increasing $55,335, adding a new officer. The police department budget is increasing from $497,236 to $565,404.

The city is also looking to add a code enforcement officer.

The city will give employees a 2 percent cost of living raise April 1 and will offer another 2 percent at midyear based on merit.

“This is a really good budget. It’s a little more than we spent last year,” Holmes said. “We did a survey three or four years ago. We had a lot of return on that survey, and this budget addresses a lot of the things people had concerns about. The last couple of years we’ve worked hard on getting the Texas Water Development Board loan to be able to fix the water. No. 2 on the list was the streets, and this supplies $100,000 to work on streets.”

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