The effects anticipated with the proposed lower tax levy next year will be discussed as budget talks continue in the city of El Campo Monday.
Council is expected to take a record tax vote, a move which would set a tax ceiling, as budget discussions continue through the summer. After that vote, the rate could drop before ultimate adoption but could not rise above it.
Overall property values, according to the Wharton County Central Appraisal District, rose from about $589.9 million to $655.2 million. About $3.2 million in new development within the city limits has been recorded as well.
One option before council will be to approve the effective tax rate – the levy needed to bring in the same revenue as last year based on the same tax.
If that is ultimately done, the municipal tax levy could drop from 63.218 cents per $100 to 57.387 cents. However, this does not necessarily mean a homeowner would be paying less. With increased property values an individual homeowner’s bill could still wind up being more.
Council will also be given a chance Monday night to discuss the traditional funding given to outside agencies like the Boys & Girls Club, the Heritage Center, Northside Center and the Chamber of Commerce.
The current budget proposal calls for $171,150 to be paid to these agencies with the chamber of commerce, funded via hotel/motel tax returns having the only increase proposed.
El Campo starts off with a 6 p.m. budget workshop in chambers 315 E. Jackson, before proceeding to the regular 6:30 p.m. meeting. Both sessions are open to the public.
The pending rail-supported warehouse park development also takes another step forward Monday night with the creation of the Municipal Management District board.
The five-member board, three appointed by city council and two by the developer, will decide how much can be borrowed to build rail within the sections of the park not anticipated to be annexed anytime soon.
“The MMD will help facilitate the process to bring the project to fruition,” City Manager Courtney Sladek said.
The district can borrow up to $15 million with city and state approval, dollars which would be repaid by development within the park.
The MMD board’s creation, Sladek said, is another step “in the long range process to bring the project to life.”
With the action, activity could be seen within the development before the end of the year.
Items on the consent agenda include permission to apply for a 100 percent state funded sidewalk grant, accepting Troy Coffman, the city’s fire marshal, as a reserve officer and assorted department reports.
The re-plat of the former El Campo Middle School grounds turned development on MLK will be on the consent agenda as well.