Shenandoah City Council approved a 17.9% decrease in the tax rate for the next fiscal year after a unanimous vote during an Aug. 24 meeting.

The tax rate for the upcoming budget is set at $0.1477 per $100 of valuation, the lowest in the city’s history. The previous tax rate was $0.1799 per $100 of valuation.

City Council Member Ted Fletcher said the interest and sinking, or debt service portion of the ad valorem tax rate, set at $0.1395, is the lowest the city could go while having an outstanding bond.

Lisa Wasner, Shenandoah finance director, said the decrease should factor into savings for area residents despite increased property valuations.

“With those is a pretty significant decrease to the taxable value on a homestead, even with the increased home values this year,” Wasner said.

Alongside setting the tax rate, the City Council voted to adopt the fiscal year 2022-2023 budget, which shows around $10.5 million in revenue and around $10.5 million in expenses. There is an anticipated surplus of around $78,000 in the general fund.

In other business, council unanimously supported a resolution allowing Shenandoah to increase its homestead exemption beyond the 20% allowed by the state.

During the meeting, Fletcher encouraged Shenandoah residents to help push the resolution by contacting their state legislators, Rep. Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands), and Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe).

“This is something we will bring up in the House this year,” Fletcher said. “Two years ago, I told Steve all we are doing is kicking the can down the road, and I think we are running over that can this year.”