This cleared area on Blue Briar is the site of the new 150,000-gallon water tank that’s part of the $7 million water bond Granite Shoals voters passed in November 2019. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro
The Granite Shoals City Council is eyeing a slight cut to the 2020-21 property tax rate. Councilors on Aug. 11 proposed a rate of 59.86 cents per $100 valuation, 0.06 cents below the current rate.
Before the rate can be adopted, the city will hold public hearings Aug. 25 and Sept. 3.
The city’s current property tax rate is 59.92 cents per $100 valuation.
A lower rate does not necessarily mean savings for property owners. Property tax is also dependent on a property’s value.
Council members noted at the Aug. 11 meeting that the average taxable value of Granite Shoals homes was $207,667 in 2019 and $218,719 in 2020.
So, according to Councilor Steve Hougen, while the tax rate might go down, a property’s appraisal might go up, possibly raising the owner’s property tax bill.
“We have no control over the valuations of the property,” City Manager Jeff Looney said. “It’s up to the homeowner to work with the appraisal district.”
ANIMAL SHELTER SERVICE AGREEMENT
In other news, the city reached an agreement with Hill Country Humane Society for animal shelter services for the 2020-21 fiscal year at $22,500, a savings of $5,625 over last year.
Granite Shoals Police Chief Gary Boshears, who negotiated the contract, noted it would allow for 100 dogs to be housed.
“That’s a number we haven’t hit,” he said, “but that’s in case we have to do a big seizure of animals. I like to plan for the worst and hope for the best. I like to have wiggle room.”
Since the 2018-19 fiscal year, Boshears has helped the city save $55,500 on animal services, including negotiating a fee of $50,000 that year after Hill Country Humane Society sent the city a contract for $78,000.
GRANITE SHOALS CITY HALL
Looney and councilors also discussed a potential reopening date of Aug. 31 for City Hall, which has been closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Councilor Libby Edwards motioned “to open City Hall at the very latest, Aug. 31, and give Mr. Looney discretion to open sooner.” The council unanimously passed the motion.
THE COUNCIL ALSO:
approved extending a burn ban to Tuesday, Aug. 25, on Fire Chief Austin Stanphill’s recommendation;
asked City Attorney Joshua Katz for changes to the animal control ordinance to allow residents to own chickens if requirements for yards and equipment are met;
was told the city is anticipating receiving the drawings for parts of the water bond project at the end of the month. The bond, which voters approved at $7 million in November, includes a new water tower, water plant improvements, and waterline maintenance. Looney noted the land for the new 150,000-gallon water tank, which will be located at Blue Briar, has been cleared.
was told residents who fail to pay their monthly water bills won’t have their service shut off within days “because of the hot weather,” Looney said. However, late fees will continue to be processed.