On Tuesday the League City City Council officially adopted the fiscal year 2019 budget, which has grown since the previous budget but includes a slight property tax rate drop.
The budget of $207.76 million includes $131.06 million for operations and $76.7 million for capital projects. It is 3.02 percent higher than this year’s budget of $201.67 million.
One woman urged the council to not remove any flood-prevention capital projects from the Bayridge subdivision, where her home is. She spent Tuesday preparing her home for flooding after a day of rain, and she had flashbacks to Hurricane Harvey, she said.
The biggest part of the budget addresses drainage issues, Mayor Pat Hallisey said.
Despite the budget jump, property tax rates are expected to decrease.
The property tax rate next year is proposed at $0.5638 per $100, a minuscule drop from this year’s rate of $0.5650 and an 10.5 percent drop from 2010’s rate of $0.63. The tax rate will be adopted in October.
“Every little penny we can not take from the citizens here is a good deal,” Hallisey said.
League City’s taxable appraised value has grown from $5 billion to over $8 billion this year. That has helped increase property tax revenue from about $33 million in 2010 to an estimated $45 million in 2019, which helps keep the tax rate low, City Manager John Baumgartner said.
Driving an increase in the budget is the city’s plan to hire 14.5 full-time employees, including an assistant attorney, a parks custodian and two paramedics.
Council Member Nick Long commended the staff for lowering the tax rate despite the growing budget.
In other business
The League City City Council on Tuesday approved disposing of 44 surplus vehicles and other equipment and buying nine new police vehicles.
The surplus vehicles include 14 police department vehicles. They will be auctioned off or sold directly, according to city documents.
The police department’s nine new Ford Explorers, one of which is fitted for a police dog, will replace “systematically aging vehicles” and cost no more than $587,000. The expense is part of the 2019 budget, according the documents.