West Lake Hills residents voted to approve Proposition C with 531 voting for and 240 voting against the measure. The proposition will abolish the 0.5% tax rate used for property tax relief and instead instate a 0.5% sales tax for the maintenance and repair of streets. Homeowners will see an increase in property tax rates from $0.0786 to $0.119 per $100 valuation. The city estimates the median value for a home in West Lake Hills is approximately $1.5 million, using this estimate the city said a median homeowner in the city would pay $586 more in city taxes.
“Proposition C is what will give the city an incredibly valuable tool to proactively maintain our roads,” Mayor Linda Anthony said. “It will put us in a position of not having to go back to the voters in the future for bonds to fix costly road repairs. This is absolutely a tremendous boon to the city. We can plan, we can manage. This puts us in a much better financial place."
In anticipation of higher sales tax revenue from the opening of the Village Shopping Center on Bee Cave Road, action was taken in the mid-1990s by West Lake Hills City Council to raise sales and use tax by 0.5% and lower property tax rates, according to the city. The higher sales tax revenue was used for property tax relief, and businesses in that shopping center are the top generators of sales tax revenue in the city, the website said. The city estimates this 0.5% change in sales tax revenue has generated a loss of around $15 million since it was enacted.
The city has a 15-year rolling maintenance plan for its streets, and Proposition C will enable the city to handle these issues, Anthony said. Relying on a limited general fund to fix costly road maintenance is not ideal, and Proposition C provides a dedicated revenue source to handle the task, according to Anthony.
“To me, this was one of the single most important things that taxpayers could have voted for because it gives the city a tool to manage one of their most expensive tasks, which is to maintain their roads,” Anthony said. “Thanks for the vote of confidence, and now it’s time for us to roll up our sleeves and get to work and deliver to our residents what they said they wanted.”
All results are unofficial until canvassed.
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