City of Richmond adopts 2017-18 budget, approves property tax rate

Richmond Mayor Evalyn Moore and city commissioners adopted the 2017-18 fiscal year budget and 2017 tax rate during the city commissioner's meeting Monday night at the City Hall Annex.

The adopted proposed annual operating budget is set at $25,682,464 and will be distributed between the general, water and sewer and debt service funds, according to the city's annual operating budget report. The combined expenditures of these funds show a decrease of less than 1 percent from last year's budget, according to the report.

The general fund budget is set at $15,352,917 and is distributed among seven major sources of revenue that include property taxes, permit and service fees and state and federal grants.

"This year’s revenue represents a $320,067 increase, or slightly over 2 percent from fiscal year 2016-17’s budget" the report stated. "This is primarily due to growth in property tax values and service fees."

Commissioners went on to adopt the 2017 tax rate, which is set at $.7100 cents per $100 valuation, a 3.4 percent decrease from last year's rate of $.7350 cents, according to City Manager Terri Vela. While the city has to formally call to increase the tax rate, Vela said this does not reflect what is actually happening to the rate.

"The reason we have to use language of an increase when we adopt the budget is because local government code requires we call it a tax revenue increase if we actually generate more revenue from property taxes than the previous year," Finance Director Susan Lang said. "So, even though we lowered our tax rate, we are still proposing to expect to collect more tax revenue than the previous year."

Vela and Lang confirmed Hurricane Harvey did not and will not have an affect on the tax rate. During the meeting, commissioners also approved a resolution that would allow the County Appraisal District to reappraise properties impacted by Hurricane Harvey that will last through the end of the year.

Proclamations and park hours

Other agenda items from the meeting include several proclamations. Moore proclaimed Sept. 17-23 Constitution Week, Sept. 29 as Fort Bend County Fair Day and October 2017 as Czech Heritage Month.

Commissioners approved setting hours for the new Freeman Town Park located near Burnet Street and South 7th Street. Residents will be able to access the park from 6 a.m. through 10 p.m. starting Oct. 10.


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