At its regular meeting Aug. 13, the council approved the $0.4 tax rate. The proposed rate is the same as the 2018 adopted tax rate. City Administrator Richard Tramm said in a phone call the rate was made up of $0.1888 for the debt service and $0.2112 for maintenance and operations.
“The overall tax rate is the same. The debt service and the M&O rates changed slightly,” Tramm said. “Since the tax rate is the same, one went up, one went down. The reason for the change was just a slight difference in the debt service obligation.”
Tramm said although the tax rate is higher than the $0.3944 effective tax rate, the council decided to review the rate during the budget workshops scheduled for Aug. 20 and Aug. 22 with the option of lowering it to the effective rate.
The council also approved an ordinance allowing CenterPoint Energy to operate in the city. Tramm said the electric and gas company has not indicated to him a timeline for coming into the city nor the specific areas to which it might provide services.
“People will have the opportunity to choose between two natural gas providers,” Tramm said. “And in some areas that might not be served by a natural gas provider, then those residents will have an opportunity through CenterPoint should CenterPoint choose to bring their lines to that area.”
The next City Council meeting is at 6 p.m. Aug. 27. The council also set the public hearing for the proposed budget for Sept. 10. Tramm said the proposed budget has not yet been presented to the council or the public.