The Missouri City City Council on Monday voted to increase the city’s 2017 property tax rate by 7.12 percent in part to fund infrastructure improvements.

Tax rate adopted

City council voted to adopt a tax rate of $0.60000 per $100 of assessed property value, a nearly 4-cent increase from the current tax rate.

Of that $0.60000 per $100 valuation, $0.44023 will be allocated to funding the city’s maintenance and operations, and $0.15977 will be allocated to the debt service fund, according to meeting documents.

Reinvestment Zone 15 created

City council passed an ordinance to create a reinvestment zone, which will reduce property taxes for future developments within the zone’s 36.39 acres located at the northeast intersection of Hwy. 90A and Cravens Road. The amount of reduction was not specified.

The city received a request for the creation of such a zone by a company to develop a warehouse facility, according to previous meeting documents.

“The city is currently working with a business prospect the city seeks to attract,” Joe Esch, Missouri City’s economic development director, wrote in an email. “[The zone] defines the geographic area where we intend to enter into a tax abatement agreement. There currently is no agreement in place.”

Once an agreement is reached and approved by city council, it would only apply to new value created from the project, Esch said.

Unless the ordinance is renewed and extended, Reinvestment Zone 15 will expire in five years.

Food trucks regulations approved

City council approved the first reading of an ordinance that would tighten regulations for food trucks, preventing them from operating in certain retail zones.

“I’m an advocate for those businesses who have invested brick and mortar, who have stakes in the commerce of Missouri City,” Council Member Don Smith said. “I support food trucks at events. I certainly feel that’s a good thing, but I’m advocating for those who spend their resources to take root in Missouri City on a permanent basis.”

Council Member Anthony Maroulis and Mayor Allen Owen agreed with Smith.

“If there was a barbeque restaurant, and I set up a barbeque food truck, that’s direct competition,” Maroulis said.

“I made the comment before that I am totally opposed to [food trucks] competing with our people that are trying to make a living in this city,” Owen said.

Council Member Chris Preston said he understands the need to protect local businesses, but said food trucks are innovative and growing in popularity.

“I’m looking for the sweet spot,” Preston said. “I don’t want to take business away from brick and mortar establishments, but I do think there is a lot of opportunity. There are a lot of good things that can come from welcoming food trucks to Missouri City.”

Owen also said he’d like to see increased inspections of food trucks because there is a safety concern in having propane gas sources in such close proximities to operating stoves.