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After learning the city’s overall property values are dipping by nearly $13 million this year, Pearsall city councilors have begun talks on raising the tax rate by eight cents.
City Manager Federico Reyes said documents filed at the county appraiser’s office show the collective appraised values of homes in Pearsall stand at $317 million, a loss of $13 million from the previous year.
“The county has lost over two hundred million on their tax roll,” Reyes said.
Should the council decide to impose an eight-cent increase, the city would receive an additional $114,000.
According to Reyes, a tax hike would require public hearings before the council can adopt the increase. Reyes told councilors hearings would need to be held on August 24 and September 7 if the council expects to have its budget ready for approval by September 14.
The so-called ‘no new revenue rate’ that is adjusted to enable a city to collect the same amount of taxes it collected in the previous year and to operate at the same levels as in the past, formally known as the effective rate, is .91 cents on each $100 of appraised property value.
During the last fiscal year, councilors voted to decrease property taxes by about .02 cents.
“Just got through with a pandemic and people are still recovering and we want to raise taxes,” Councilor James Leal said.
Mayor Ben Briscoe told councilors that when the proposed tax rate is compared to the tax rate of competitors, Pearsall would be ranked “on the high end” of taxing entities.
“Pearsall’s appraised values of property taxes went down, so the tax values are not as high as other comparable communities,” the mayor said. “The best way to gain revenue is to increase our tax base.”