After months of meetings, workshops and discussion, the League City City Council on Sept. 8 unanimously approved the final reading of the city's fiscal year 2020-21 budget and property tax rate.

The tax rate will be $0.515 per $100 valuation, meaning the owner of a $100,000 home will pay $515 in property taxes to the city in FY 2020-21, which begins Oct. 1.

The rate is over $0.03 lower than the existing property tax rate of $0.548587. Council members called the ever-decreasing tax rate good news for residents.

Mayor Pat Hallisey said the tax rate in the early '90s was $0.79 per $100 valuation.

"It's come down considerably," he said. "That's good for the taxpayers."

Despite the tax rate falling, it is legally a tax rate increase because the city expects to bring in more property tax revenue in FY 2020-21 compared to FY 2019-20 due to growth resulting in new taxable properties in the city, Budget and Project Management Director Angie Steelman said.

"It is simply bringing in more revenue, thus we have to call it a property rate increase," Council Member Nick Long said. “Only governments could come up with that.”

The FY 2020-21 budget totals $241.15 million, including $145.14 million for operating expenses and $96.01 million in capital expenses.

The operating budget is lower than the FY 2019-20 operating budget of $145.48 million despite the city's growing population, Council Member Hank Dugie said.

"So our per-capita expenses have gone down," he said.

Additionally, the budget shows the city has allocated money toward what residents have expressed they want: public safety and infrastructure. The budget includes hiring new project managers, for instance, Dugie said.

Overall, the council thanked city staff for their work on the budget. The process went especially smoothly this time, council members said.

"I think everyone’s agreed it’s been the best process to date," Dugie said. "It really has been a good process, so thank you.”