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Meadowlakes gives tax rate a slight bump; new water restrictions coming

MEADOWLAKES — The City Council approved a slightly higher property tax rate Sept. 13 during a regular meeting in support of the 2011-2012 budget.

"It’s a good budget," Mayor Don Williams said. "It gives us the opportunity to build our reserves a bit. But we didn’t pad the budget."

Also, officials this week in an email alert announced the city is going to Stage 2 water restrictions because of the continuing drought.

Meanwhile, many property owners will see an increase in their ad valorem tax rate during the new fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1.

The council adopted a tax rate of 30.45 cents per $100 valuation compared to the previous payment of 29.9 cents during the 2010-2011 budget cycle.

"We raised the taxes by a minimal level," the mayor said. "We worked hard on keeping the budget rather neutral, but with everything being like it is, some costs did go up."

The council accepted a budget that includes operating expenses of $1.9 million. That figure includes maintenance and operation, public works, recreation and country club and debt service.

The revenues covering city expenses will come from a variety of methods including utilities (water and wastewater), property taxes, contract services, solid-waste collection fees, franchise fees and other sources.

Utilities income is estimated to bring in $778,500 for the upcoming fiscal year.

Property taxes will generate an estimated $589,280.

Along with the increase in property taxes, another factor in the residential ad valorem bill is property values.

According to the Burnet County Appraisal District, the average Meadowlakes residence increased in value from $223,099 to $225,000.

Using the new tax rate, the owner of an average home in Meadowlakes will pay $685.13 compared to last year’s $667.07.

Williams said city staff and the council put a lot of time and effort into the new budget.

"It’s very complicated, but I think everybody worked extremely hard at it," he said.

Meanwhile, they city’s weekly newsletter said the golf community is going to tighter watering restrictions for residential use. The golf course is watered by treated effluent.

City leaders recently approved moving to Stage 2 restrictions by Oct. 1 to help curb water use by 20 percent. Several other Highland Lakes cities that get their water from the Lower Colorado River Authority have already moved to Stage 2 as Texas enters one of the worst droughts on record.

Watering is based on addresses and is limited to Thursdays and Sundays. For more, visit www.meadowlakestexas.org.

 

daniel@thepicayune.com