The council voted to set the rate at $0.4200 per $100 valuation, with $0.195472 for maintenance and operations and $0.224528 for debt service. The maximum rate was set to the current tax rate in FY 2018-19.
The council voted 5-0 with District 1 vacant and District 3 Council Member Mike Triggs absent.
District 4 Council Member Steve Fought looked to set the maximum rate at $0.430202 per $100 valuation as a precaution due to uncertainties of how state legislation and property tax reform would affect the city in the long run. He said he did so with the intention of adopting a lower final rate, but the motion failed.
The vote followed a budget presentation by City Manager David Morgan where he proposed a $437.6 million total budget for FY 2019-20. The amount would be a 3% decrease from the FY 2018-19 amended budget, he said.
The recommended budget allows for 15.5 new positions across various departments as well as a restructuring of city’s organizational chart. In FY 2018-19, the budget looked to add 30 full-time employees and add 20 full-time employees in FY 2017-18, Morgan said.
The budget would also allow for a 3% merit-based increase in salaries.
Morgan said the priority for the budget was to manage growth but to maintain the city’s “small-town charm.”
The council also set two public hearings on the tax rate for Sept. 3 and Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, located at 510 W. Ninth St., Georgetown.
The final budget and tax rate will be adopted Sept. 24.