Proposed tax rates

With the coming of a new fiscal year, the Temple City Council voted Thursday to hold two public hearings on the possibility of raising taxes.

The new tax rate would be 67.27 cents per $100 of valuation, a 1.15 cent increase over last year’s tax rate of 66.12 cents.

Members of the City Council unanimously voted to move forward with the scheduling of the hearings. The first of the two public hearings will be at 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 9, followed by another during the next City Council meeting on Aug. 15.

To bring in the same amount of revenue as the 2019 fiscal year, the city would need to only tax residents 59.5 cents per $100 of valuation. This rate is also known as the effective rate.

If approved, a homeowner with a house valued at $100,000 would pay about $672.70 in the coming fiscal year. That equates to an increase of $11.50 in annual property taxes. 

Last year, Temple homeowners paid about $661.20 in taxes.

“We have an aggressive civil service plan for the city,” Mayor Tim Davis said of the proposed tax rate increase. “So we are purposing this small tax increase to help fund these projects.”

The city cannot exceed a 67.29 cent tax rate — also known as the rollback rate — otherwise it could trigger an election, if 10 percent of voters petition for it.

The proposed tax rate increases are down from what the city had estimated the needed increase to be, which would have been 68.88 cents per $100 in property evaluation and a 2.76 cent increase over last year. This decrease in the tax rate was due to local property tax evaluations going up this year.

 “I think the average taxable home here in Temple is around $125,000, a year ago it was $116,000,” City Finance Director Traci Barnard said.

When compared to other funding sources, revenue from the property tax rate accounts for a total of 19.53 percent of the city’s total budget.

This year, Temple saw an 11.26 percent increase in the city’s tax role — the first double-digit increase in almost 25 years, according to Barnard.