Slight property tax rate increase approved for Granite Shoals

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

Granite Shoals property owners will see a slight increase in their property tax rate as the City Council approved a rate of 59.922 cents per $100 valuation.

The council adopted the rate during its September 10 meeting. It’s up from the previous rate of 59.6 cents per $100 valuation.

A property valued at $100,000 will see a city property tax bill of $599.22 under the new rate, a $3.22 increase over the previous one.

“Property valuations continue to increase and the budget has been constructed to reflect the tax levy for the general fund and debt service fund,” City Manager Jeff Looney wrote in a letter to the council and residents. “Residential property continues to be of great value in Granite Shoals and new residential building is growing.”

The budget, which the council also approved during the same meeting, includes adding staff.

City officials are looking at adding two patrol officers, converting three part-time firefighters into full-time employees, and adding three new parks maintenance personnel and one extra utility technician.

Along with additional staffing, the 2019-20 budget calls for purchasing new police vehicles, upgrading the water plant, adding to street construction funds, and buying equipment for the streets, parks, and water departments.

Looney said the city will sign purchase-lease agreements for police vehicles totaling $120,000. The city also will buy a slightly used motor grader and new roller, mini-excavator, and backhoe and will pay $45,000 for six years.

The budget also will allow for salary adjustments “to compete with neighboring cities and the current employment shifts to higher wages,” Looney wrote.

When Looney examines the number of lanes in the road and multiplies them by two, he calculates there are 180 miles of roads in Granite Shoals. Add 19 parks the city is responsible for maintaining, and he believes the added staff members will only make Granite Shoals a better place to live.

“Citizens are getting a big bang for their buck,” he said. “I can’t emphasize that. They’re getting a pretty good value for what it costs us.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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