Katy City Council adopts new budget, appoints new mayor pro tem

Former Mayor Pro Tem Durran Dowdle and Mayor Bill Hastings congratulate new Mayor Pro Tem Chris  Harris.

Former Mayor Pro Tem Durran Dowdle and Mayor Bill Hastings congratulate new Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harris.

At its Sept. 23 meeting, Katy City Council approved and adopted the budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 and appointed a new mayor pro tem, after the agenda item was postponed at every meeting since July 8 due to concerns of completing the budget with a new appointee.

This budget will raise more total property taxes than last year’s budget by $882,051 or 7%, and of that amount, $812,278 is tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year, according to meeting documents.

The tax rate in the proposed general budget has two parts: a tax rate of $0.101517 on each $100 appraised value for debt service and a tax rate of $0.378493 on each $100 of appraised value to fund maintenance and operation spending in support of the budget, per city documents.

The ordinance is effective the date after the fiscal year 2019-20 city of Katy budget is approved.

Andrew Vasquez, the director of finance for the city of Katy, said the tax rate the council adopted is actually a tax decrease despite the legal language, which requires the adoption of the new tax rate to use the phrase “tax increase."

New mayor pro tem

Mayor Hastings nominated and asked the council for confirmation of Chris Harris as mayor pro tem in July and since, some council members, including Frank O. Carroll discussed the budget process and pointed out former Mayor Pro Tem Durran Dowdle has experience adopting a budget in comparison to the relatively new council.

Since this is the largest budget the city has adopted, according to city documents, Carroll said it would ease resident fears if the council waited and readdress the agenda item after the budget.

At the Sept. 23 meeting, council approved Harris as the new mayor pro tem.

Recognizing the fire chief

Hastings recognized Katy Fire Department Chief Russell Wilson, who was one of four people appointed to the Texas Commission on Fire Protection by Gov. Greg Abbott.

The commission develops and enforces statewide fire service standards and provides education and assistance to the fire industry. Terms are set to expire on Feb. 1, 2025.

Council Member Janet Corte congratulated Wilson during council member reports.

“It’s quite an honor and well deserved,” she said.
By Nola Valente
A native Texan, Nola serves as reporter for the Katy edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She studied print journalism at the University of Houston and French at the University of Paris-Sorbonne in France. Nola was previously a foreign correspondent in Jerusalem, Israel covering Middle East news through an internship with an American news outlet.


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