The city of New Braunfels will hold the first of two public hearings surrounding its proposed annual budget and tax rate adoption on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers at 550 Landa St., New Braunfels. The hearing gives citizens a chance to weigh in on the proposed numbers for fiscal year 2018-19.

The proposed budget—which totals $186,109,351—would keep the current tax rate of $0.48822 per $100 valuation in tact. During fiscal year 2017-18, the overall tax rate was reduced by approximately one cent (from $0.49823).

"That’s because the property tax values in both Comal and Guadalupe Counties have increased from one year to the next so that allows us to address things such as street maintenance, additional police officers and staff in other areas to address issues with growth,” City Manager Robert Camareno said, adding that the city’s taxable value grew by $821 million during the last year.

At a retreat that was held on July 2, City Council identified priorities heading into the next fiscal year. They are:

  • Public safety market increases and compensation increases for non-uniform staff

  • School resource office funding

  • Equipment replacement fund solvency

  • Center for public safety management staffing plan implementation

  • Maintain/increase total investment for street maintenance and repair

  • Supporting growth with adequate investments and infrastructure planning

  • Pursuing efficiency through investments in technology

  • Continued investment in leadership and staff development

Camereno said the proposed budget includes funding and initiatives for all of the priorities.

In his budget presentation to City Council, Camareno recapped some of the achievements from fiscal year 2017-18, including the completed construction of the city’s new recreation center, adding more than 150 parking spaces to the downtown area and implementing a second street maintenance crew.

A second public hearing will take place Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. at City Hall, after which the first reading of the ordinance to adopt the budget and tax rate will occur. The second and final reading is scheduled for Sept. 10.