How your 2019 tax bills might change

Hays County, its cities fi­nal­iz­ing rates for the next bud­get year.

Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - METRO & STATE - By Tay­lor Gold­en­stein

Over the next cou­ple of weeks, Hays County and cities within it are fi­nal­iz­ing their bud­gets and tax rates for fis­cal 2019, which be­gins Oct. 1.

Here’s how those tax bills could look dif­fer­ent next year:

HAYS COUNTY 2017 bond still push­ing up bud­get

The $237.8 mil­lion public safety and roads bond pack­age ap­proved in 2017 con­tin­ues to af­fect Hays County’s bud­get.

About $80 mil­lion of the spend­ing in the pro­posed $313 mil­lion bud­get would go to­ward the public safety por­tion of the bond, in­clud­ing con­struc­tion on the county jail. About an ad­di­tional $18 mil­lion would go to­ward the road por­tion.

The county is in the be­gin­ning phase of con­struc­tion of the new jail, and 90 per­cent of the road projects’ de­sign ser­vices are un­der con­tract, Com­mis­sioner Deb­bie In­galsbe said.

“Not only will these cap­i­tal projects be com­pleted with no debt rate in­crease, the county was able to cut the over­all tax rate for fis­cal year 2019,” In­galsbe said in an email in­ter­view.

Aside from the bond projects, the reg­u­lar road and bridge oper-

at­ing bud­get ac­count for about $20 mil­lion in spend­ing. Those projects in­clude about $597,000 for low wa­ter crossings and about $665,000 for im­prove­ments to Texas 80 from Mil­i­tary Drive to Old Bas­trop High­way.

By the num­bers

2019 bud­get: $313 mil­lion, down about 16 per­cent from last year.

2019 tax rate: 43.37 cents per $100 in tax­able prop­erty value.

That’s the rate Hays needed to set to raise the same amount of money as this past year, once ris­ing prop­erty val­ues are fac­tored in.

Bot­tom line: The county por­tion of the tax bill would be $1,036 for the owner of the av­er­age tax­able value home worth $243,812. That’s an in­crease of $48 over last year’s bill.

Weigh in

A public hear­ing on the bud­get will be at 1 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Hays County Court­house, 111 E. San An­to­nio St., San Mar­cos, in the com­mis­sion­ers’ court­room.

See it for your­self

The pro­posed bud­get, which coun­cil mem­bers are set to vote on Sept. 18, is posted at www.co.hays. tx.us un­der the Fi­nan­cial Trans­parency icon. It is also avail­able for view­ing in­side the Hays County au­di­tor’s of­fice, 712 S. Stage­coach Trail in San Mar­cos.

BUDA Fo­cuses on streets, drainage, parks

Buda’s pro­posed bud­get is again fo­cused on ac­com­mo­dat­ing boom­ing growth as projects aris­ing from the city’s first bond elec­tion plug along.

In the past year, two of the 2014 bond projects wrapped up when the city staff re­lo­cated to the new, 55,100-square-foot City Hall and li­brary and the po­lice depart­ment re­lo­cated to the new, 14,480-square-foot public safety build­ing.

With most of the larger bond projects out of the way, this year’s bud­get has shrunk from about $92 mil­lion last year to about $60 mil­lion this year.

Spend­ing on the city’s waste­water treat­ment plant ex­pan­sion, which will go to bid in Septem­ber, has dipped by about $23 mil­lion since last year’s bud­get.

This year, streets, drainage and the City Park will be the main cap­i­tal im­prove­ment projects, City Man­ager Ken­neth Williams said in a state­ment.”It was our goal to re­spond to growth through sound fi­nan­cial in­vest­ments in key ser­vice ar­eas and in­fra­struc­ture,” Williams said.

By the num­bers

Pro­posed bud­get: $60 mil­lion, down 35 per­cent.

Pro­posed tax rate: 37.10 cents per $100 in tax­able prop­erty value.

That’s an in­crease over the 36.73-cent tax rate that Buda would need to charge to raise the same amount of money as this past year, once ris­ing prop­erty val­ues are fac­tored in.

Bot­tom line: The city por­tion of the tax bill would be $948 for the owner of the av­er­age home worth $255,745. That’s an in­crease of $60 over last year’s tax bill.

See it for your­self

The pro­posed bud­get, which coun­cil mem­bers are set to vote on Sept. 18, is posted at www.ci.buda.tx.us and avail­able for view­ing at the city sec­re­tary’s of­fice at Buda City Hall.

KYLE Fo­cus re­mains on in­fra­struc­ture

As Kyle hur­ries to catch up with growth, the city staff and City Coun­cil mem­bers said much of this year’s roughly $85 mil­lion bud­get, ap­proved Tues­day, is fo­cused on in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments.

Some of the new spend­ing in­cludes about $45 mil­lion for cap­i­tal im­prove­ment projects, about $7 mil­lion for Stage­coach Road re­con­struc­tion and about $17 mil­lion for con­struc­tion tied to the waste­water treat­ment plant ex­pan­sion.

“All those funds that we’re ex­pend­ing is to ad­e­quately meet the re­sponse ... of the cit­i­zenry ex­pand­ing, ex­plod­ing,” Coun­cil Mem­ber Shane Ara­bie said at a bud­get work­shop.

The pro­posed bud­get also in­cludes $1.3 mil­lion for new equip­ment and ve­hi­cles, $778,000 for 16 new full-time po­si­tions and $441,511 for tech­nol­ogy im­prove­ments across de­part­ments.

By the num­bers

2019 bud­get: $84.9 mil­lion, up about 12 per­cent.

2019 tax rate: 54.16 cents per $100 in tax­able prop­erty value.

That’s an in­crease over the 52.35-cent tax rate that Kyle would need to charge to raise the same amount of money as this past year, once ris­ing prop­erty val­ues are fac­tored in.

Bot­tom line: The city por­tion of the tax bill would be $1,059 for the owner of the av­er­age tax­able home worth $195,507. That’s an in­crease of $53 over last year’s tax bill.

See it for your­self

The bud­get is posted at www.kyle.tx.gov and avail­able for view­ing at the Kyle City Hall, 100 W. Cen­ter St., and the Kyle Public Li­brary, 550 Scott St.

SAN MAR­COS New hires much of new spend­ing

The 2017 bond pack­age for public safety and li­brary im­prove­ments con­tin­ues to af­fect San Mar­cos’ pro­posed prop­erty tax rate.

Spend­ing in­creases this year also in­clude about $187,000 for soft­ware main­te­nance, salary in­creases and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in­cen­tive in­creases, which in­clude a $1 mil­lion sales tax re­bate for the $5.8 mil­lion Best Buy call cen­ter that opened re­cently.

Much of the new spend­ing is for new hires, in­clud­ing an emer­gency ve­hi­cle tech­ni­cian, eight fire­fight­ers, two fire in­spec­tors, a school re­source of­fi­cer ( jointly funded by the San Mar­cos In­de­pen­dent School Dis­trict) and a nar­cotics of­fi­cer in the po­lice depart­ment.

“I be­lieve that we will make a dif­fer­ence in key and crit­i­cal ar­eas of ser­vice,” City Man­ager Bert Lum­br­eras said at the first bud­get hear­ing in June. “We’re go­ing to start tak­ing some very ex­cit­ing steps around a num­ber of the pri­or­i­ties that this coun­cil has set in mo­tion.”

The City Coun­cil also is con­sid­er­ing a 5 per­cent in­crease to its wa­ter rate, a 2 per­cent in­crease to its waste­water rate and a 15 per­cent in­crease to its drainage rate, ac­cord­ing to the pro­posed bud­get. The drainage rate in­crease will sup­port $66.1 mil­lion in projects to im­prove the city’s han­dling of storm wa­ter drainage.

By the num­bers

2019 bud­get: $229 mil­lion, up 7 per­cent.

2019 tax rate: 61.39 cents per $100 in tax­able prop­erty value.

That’s the same rate as last year, but it’s still an in­crease over the 58.99 cents San Mar­cos would need to charge to raise the same amount of money as this past year, once ris­ing prop­erty val­ues are fac­tored in.

Bot­tom line: The city por­tion of the tax bill would be $1,126.67 for the owner of the av­er­age tax­able home worth $183,527. That’s about $90 more than last year’s tax bill.

See it for your­self

The pro­posed bud­get, which coun­cil mem­bers are set to vote on Sept. 18, is posted at san­mar­costx. gov and avail­able for view­ing at the Public Li­brary, 625 E. Hop­kins St., San Mar­cos.

CON­TRIB­UTED

Kyle is plan­ning to spend $17 mil­lion for con­struc­tion re­lated to ex­pan­sion at the city’s waste­water treat­ment plant — work meant to help the city meet its pop­u­la­tion growth.

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