City proposes 3.5 cent hike in property taxes for 2021

Posted 8/11/20

Madisonville City Council members Monday approved a proposed tax rate of 69.39 cents per $100 in property valuation for fiscal year 2021, a 3.5 cent increase from this year’s rate.

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City proposes 3.5 cent hike in property taxes for 2021

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Madisonville City Council members Monday approved a proposed tax rate of 69.39 cents per $100 in property valuation for fiscal year 2021, a 3.5 cent increase from this year’s rate.

The vote was not unanimous, as council member Lois Brown said she wanted only a 2 cent per $100 valuation rise for the year.

Under the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019, cities and counties must approve a proposed rate that does not necessarily reflect the actual rate that will apply for the next budget year.

Up to January 2020, a municipality had the ability to increase its tax rate 8% above its effective tax rate without triggering a possible voter-approval election. The 2019 legislation changed that to 3.5% and changed a multiplier for the calculation. If an entity adopts a tax rate greater than the voter-approval tax rate, an automatic election will be triggered.

In other moves at their regular meeting Monday, council members approved engaging bond counsel and engineering services pacts for a $3.96 million project on the city’s sewer system.

Beaumont-based Schaumburg & Polk, Inc. will provide engineering services on the project, which will include additional sludge handling equipment, replacing a bore under Interstate 45 and raising the wall around the wastewater plant to prevent flooding.

City Manager Camilla Viator noted that water run-off has caused flooding at the plant for the past three years. Just being run-off water and not wastewater, it has created no environmental concerns or fines, according to Schaumburg & Polk engineer Steve Jordan.

“It does cause quite a disruption, though,” he told council members.

Engineer may raise the walls around the plant up by two feet to prevent flooding, Jordan said.

The project may also result in a new sewer line, according to Viator.

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