Sunset Valley aims to expand green tax area

The city of Sunset Valley’s existing Edwards Aquifer Protection Venue Project, also known as a “green tax,” could affect more areas in the city if voters approve a proposition on the November ballot.

The proposition is not to increase taxes or change the way they are collected, but instead to broaden the definition of where funds from the green tax can be used, City Administrator Clay Collins said.

The majority of Sunset Valley is built over the recharge zone for the Edwards Aquifer, a local groundwater system that provides water for parts of Central Texas.

Voters in Sunset Valley approved the green tax in November 2007, enabling the city to collect
one-eighth of 1 percent of the city’s sales tax for watershed protection-related initiatives, such as purchasing environmentally sensitive land to preserve it from being developed, Collins said.

Currently, the tax can only be used for initiatives in the designated venue, which is along Brodie and Country White lanes. The proposition aims to expand that venue so that the funds can be spent on areas throughout the city, Collins said.

“This would provide a little more flexibility,” Collins said.

Council Member Forrest Arnold said the city has purchased other properties for environmental preservation reasons outside the geographic area of the existing tax without using the green tax funds.

“It’s a very useful fund,” he said, noting if the proposition passes the fund could be used anywhere in the city that would benefit the aquifer.

The tax generates approximately $400,000 annually, according to city documents.

City of Sunset Valley City Council Elections: Three Seats

On the Nov. 3 ballot, the city of Sunset Valley will hold elections for three seats on its five-member City Council.

Marc Bruner
Bruner, who has served on the city’s Public Works Committee and Budget, Finance and Administration Committee, is running for Council Member Forrest Arnold’s seat. Arnold said he is not seeking re-election this year.

Rudi Rosengarten*
Rosengarten, a Realtor, has served two full terms and was first elected in May 2011. She is seeking re-election in 2015.

Jeff Burdett*
Burdett was appointed to City Council on June 15, 2012, after Rose Cardona was elected mayor and she resigned her council seat, staff said. Burdett was then elected Nov. 5, 2013. He is seeking re-election to the council in 2015.

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