CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — With a hint into future budget talks, city leaders say they anticipate more road improvements, a water system expansion and a new police station for the upcoming fiscal year — all while keeping the same tax and water rates.
Marble Falls City Manager Mike Hodge credits, in part, climbing sales-tax figures, which contribute to the vast majority of the city’s revenue.
“We’re up about 6½ percent in sales-tax revenues,” Hodge said. “We’re seeing a rebound in the local economy, the fact that the hospital is in place, and we see a local investment of more people coming to the community than ever before.”
The Baylor Scott & White Hospital-Marble Falls, located on Texas 71 just off U.S. 281, is a 46-bed, 188,000-square-foot, four-story facility expected to be open in August.
The city’s tax rate is $0.6485 per $100 property valuation with a city budget of about $15 million.
City staff anticipates an increase in the street maintenance budget to $100,000; $4.5 million in water and wastewater plant expansion and upgrades to be funded with bond money; and a new $3 million police station with bond money already approved for its development.
“Our strategy is to go with the same tax rate as last year,” Hodge said.
Marble Falls City Council members will meet June 9 for their first retreat to begin planning for the 2015-16 fiscal year and provide insight into budget and tax considerations.
“It’s primarily focused on doing a visioning session with our council,” Hodge said.
Possible discussions include infrastructure, water rates, development and sales-tax dollars — among the foundation for upcoming budget workshops.
“We’ve seen a 2-percent increase in assessed property values,” Hodge said. “We’ll see some more growth that will be added to that.”
The council planning retreat is scheduled for 8 a.m. June 9 at La Quinta Inn, 501 FM 2147 West.
A city budget workshop is scheduled for July 23 at city hall, 800 Third St.