According to city staff, the anticipated total revenue forecast is $22,757,849, which is $4,428,310 above last year’s budget. Of that anticipated revenue, $22,757,846 is expected to be used for total expenditures for the year.
Under the new budget, the proposed tax rate is $0.656205 per $100 valuation, which is an increase of $0.066807 from the FY 2021-22 rate of $0.589398 per $100 valuation.
Residents spoke on the estimated tax revenue, asking the council not to set a rate that goes over or under the estimated revenue of $9,851,079.
Resident Kim Igleheart said she believes the tax rate was miscalculated, and she does not understand why the city does not calculate the rate rather than the county providing the calculation.
According to Igleheart, she used a worksheet and the Bexar County Appraisal District's certified tax rolls formula, which resulted in no-new-revenue rate and voter-approved rate numbers differing from the city.
“For reasons I don’t understand, we are letting Bexar County do our calculations rather than doing them ourselves,” Igleheart said.
City Manager Kim Turner said the city worked with staff, council and the Bexar County Appraisal District to ensure the numbers were correct. According to Turner, while the numbers did come back accurate, the investigation led to new insight and possible changes to the proposed rate.
While the proposed rate was the rate discussed during the public hearing, Turner said more rate options will be brought to council at the next scheduled meeting.
“We believe that there is some room to move the tax rate,” Turner said.
Resident Janice Hughes said an increased tax rate in FY 2022-23 year would hurt a lot of residents due to the “unusual time” with an increase in appraisal values and inflation.
“I think this is a particularly difficult time to be asking people to pay more taxes,” Hughes said. “We have just been hit with the property increases; we have been hit with inflation; we [have been hit with] this, and we have been hit with that; and the people I have talked to in the Universal City area don’t want to pay more taxes.”
Mayor John Williams said the city will work on providing residents with a fair budget and tax rate that meets resident needs and results in the best rate for taxpayers.
“We are pledged to make sure that we give you by far the best budget that we can and provide the services that you need in the city,” Williams said. “You have elected us to help make that decision for you, and I hope that you trust us to make the right decision.”
The first reading of the proposed budget and discussion on the tax rate will be held Sept. 6 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the City Hall Council Chambers, 2150 Universal City Blvd., Universal City.