City Staff to propose tax rate for Helotes

The City of Helotes has started the preparations for the Fiscal Year Ending 2019 budget.   Preparations include proposing the tax rate for the FYE 2019 year. At this time City Staff will recommend a tax rate of $.363601 per $100 valuation.

This rate is considered the rollback rate.

A city that proposes to adopt a tax rate that exceeds the lower of the effective tax rate or the rollback tax rate must hold two public hearings prior to finally adopting the property tax rate. TEX. LOC. GOV’T CODE § 140.010(e). New legislation that passed in 2013 (S.B.1510) requires cities to either publish in the newspaper or mail to each property owner a simplified notice of the proposed tax rate containing specific language. See TEX. LOC. GOV’T CODE § 140.010. If a city proposes a tax rate that exceeds the lower of the effective or rollback tax rates, it must send out a specific notice that lists the proposed rate, preceding year’s tax rate, effective tax rate, and rollback rate, along with the dates of the two public hearings. TEX. LOC. GOV’T CODE §140.010(e).

The first public hearing to discuss the tax rate will be August 23 and the second will be September 13.   Council is scheduled to approve the FYE 2019 budget on September 27.

According to the Texas Municipal League “ If a city council does not adopt a property tax rate by the deadline, the tax rate is set at the lower of the effective tax rate or the previous year’s tax rate. Tex. Tax Code § 26.05(c). Because property taxes can only be levied in accordance with a city budget, city budgets should be adopted no later than September 29th, as well. See Tex. Loc. Gov’t Code § 102.009(a).

A Type A general law city with a population of more than 5,000 inhabitants may adopt a maximum tax rate of $2.50 per $100 of taxable value. TEX. CONST. arts. XI, § 5. This is due to the language mentioned above from Article XI, Section 5, which applies the $2.50 maximum to a city over 5,000 in population that is eligible to hold an election to adopt a home rule charter.

Last year, City Staff proposed a tax rate of $.400231; however, Council adopted a final rate of $.350000 per $100 valuation.

The Mayor commented during the July 26 meeting the City was “in the hole” and Council discussed different funding options for City Staff retirement.

Council must approve a tax rate and budget by September 29 as the new fiscal year starts on October 1.

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