Hill Country Village is keeping its property tax rate flat for fiscal year 2022, but with rising property values, the city expects to see a slight increase in revenue compared to last year.
The Hill Country Village City Council unanimously voted Sept. 16 to maintain the tax rate of 14.5 cents per $100 home valuation.
The city does project generating $373,398 in property tax revenue in the new fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. It is a small increase over the $371,995 brought in during FY 2021.
“I want to make it clear to the audience that this is a very small increment because we’re not raising the tax rate,” Mayor Gabriel Durand-Hollis said.
Local officials said growing appraisals and positive sales tax revenue—despite the COVID-19 pandemic—will help to increase the total budgeted revenue from $1.72 million last fiscal year to $1.81 million this fiscal year.
The council, in a previous meeting, adopted a FY 2022 budget with $1.80 million in projected total expenses — about $95,000 more than last year.
Compared with FY 2021, the police department is receiving a $51,309 boost to its budget, and the public works department is getting a $1,576 increase, according to the city.
While the city is not adding positions, the budgeted increases are related to pay and benefits. With a stable population of 1,126, the city is in a sound financial condition, Durand-Hollis told Community Impact Newspaper.
“We’re not growing nor shrinking. We’re the same city, we’re not annexing. The budget doesn’t change a tremendous amount,” Durand-Hollis said. “We feel very good that we’re able to balance the income with the things we need to do.”
Hill Country Village is also receiving $276,000 in federal emergency relief funds under the American Rescue Plan Act approved by U.S. Congress. The city has so far has collected about $138,000 from that amount. City Administrator and Police Chief Frank Morales said the federal money will be kept in a separate fund until the city decides how to spend the money.
Morales said the federal funding is meant to reserved to cover necessities, such as police equipment and infrastructure fixes, in tough times.
Some council members suggested some of the federal funding could be used to support small-scale repairs at City Hall, including ensuring the main municipal building complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“Other cities are sitting on their money, waiting to see what other cities will do with their money,” Morales said.