August 19, 2021
The preliminary approval was given by Georgetown City Council for a maximum property tax rate of $0.401 per $100 property value. This new tax rate gives property owners in the Texas city a decrease of $0.017 compared to the current city tax rate in Georgetown of $0.418.
Even though the new property tax rate for the city is less than property owners typically pay, the average homeowner will receive a higher bill. For example, owners of a home valued at $300,000 would receive a tax bill that is around $50 more than they did for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
It is to be noted that the proposed tax rate is lower than what local voters approved. The new approved rate of $0.401237 is actually the maximum rate allowed per Texas law without being voted on by residents.
Texas’ truth-in-taxation requirements insists that taxing units calculate two rates once they receive the certified appraisal roll from the chief appraiser. These rates include the no-new-revenue tax rate as well as the voter-approval tax rate. This will then determine the steps that will be used, according to the truth-in-taxation requirement.
In addition, Texas cities, counties and hospital districts are able to introduce a sales tax that would be used only to reduce property tax. This reduces the no-new-revenue rate only during the very first year. Voter-approval tax rates will be reduced every year after this to help account for the reduced taxes on property paid for by the sales tax.
According to the city, Georgetown’s no-new-revenue rate of $0.330775 will actually produce the exact amount of tax revenue if it were applied.
The city council’s final proposed budget is $483 million for fiscal year 2021-22. This includes money for 53 new positions and funding for capital improvement projects such as well wastewater infrastructure. The funding includes $23.9 million raised from city sales tax revenue, which is up from the fiscal year 2020-21 projections by 4.5 percent. The almost $91 million budget is increased by 3.4% from the 2020-21 projections with the total proposed 2021-22 budget growing by almost 22 % compared to last year.
Expenses included in the 2021-22 budget consist of $114.7 million for planned capital improvement projects, $49.8 million for a water and wastewater treatment capacity/distribution system, $54.4 million for electric power expenses, and $38.2 million for transportation.
The Georgetown city council plans to hold public hearings on September 14 for the first reading of the tax rate and budget. The tax rate and budget will be formally adopted on September 28.