STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS
MARBLE FALLS — The city of Marble Falls’s tax rate will likely decrease for the second straight year.
City Council voted 7-0 during its regular meeting Aug. 7 to set the tax rate at $0.615 per $100 in valuation for the 2018-19 fiscal year and set public hearing dates of Aug. 21 and Sept. 4.
The proposed rate is down from this fiscal year’s rate of $0.6340 and the the 2016-17 fiscal year rate of $0.6483.
The 3 percent decrease will benefit many Marble Falls taxpayers, who might see an increase in property valuations from the Burnet Central Appraisal District.
Total adjusted taxable values in Marble Falls increased 15.3 percent to $837,800,028. While the tax rate is decreasing, an increase in valuations by the Burnet CAD is expected to net the city $2,272,399 in estimated revenue in the general fund.
A taxpayer with a home valued at $200,000 would expect to pay $1,230 in tax with the proposed rate compared to $1,268 if the current rate was kept.
The proposed tax rate is “still lower than the current rate, but it allows our city to be able to provide the services and funding we need for operations,” Finance Director Margie Cardenas said.
The lower tax rate includes a slight change in the breakdown. The 2017-18 tax rate was broken into 37 percent for Maintenance & Operations (M&O) and 63 percent toward Interest & Sinking (I&S). The proposed tax rate increased the M&O rate to account for 40 percent of the total tax rate and 60 percent I&S.
“The goal in a perfect world would be a fifty-fifty split in each one,” Cardenas said.
The adjustment means the council is “slowly moving in the direction of where we would like to be,” she said.
The more than $2.2 million in revenue generated from the property tax is only part of the city’s entire budget. Cardenas said the local sales tax will account for about $6.5 million in revenue for the city.
After two public hearings, the council is expected to adopt the new tax rate on Sept. 18.