While conceding taxes will be slightly higher in the coming year, the Comal County Commissioners Court unanimously passed a $167.85 million budget for fiscal year 2023-24 and a property tax rate of $0.027515 per $100 valuation Sept. 7.

That new rate is almost a penny less than the FY 2022-23 rate of $0.284715 per $100 valuation. However, due to rising home and commercial property values, the rate calculated that would not effectively increase taxes is $0.260130 per $100 valuation.

The background

The preliminary proposal for the new tax rate linked to the budget was for the rate to remain at the current level, but in the budget amending process, commissioners removed some items to lower the rate some.

Commissioner Scott Haag and Commissioner Donna Eccleston brought up amendments to add county positions into the budget that were approved unanimously—one for adding an assistant road superintendent to the county engineer’s office and one to add an additional clerk to the Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 office.

Commissioner Kevin Webb proposed reducing the tax rate by putting a “pause” on some road projects in the budget that allowed for the tax rate to decrease.

“I'm going to propose a small tax rate decrease by reducing the amount of funds we're setting aside for road projects and land acquisitions just for one year. It'll reduce that line item by two and a half million dollars and then the tax rate by about nine-tenths of a cent,” Webb said. “I think that if we take a break this year and then come back to it next year, we'll still be poised to do what we need to do. We don't have any other ... acquisitions that we need to make next year.”