The city of Double Horn adopted a $67,307.61 budget, which includes $9,600 toward an in-city office rental. The budget was approved at a meeting Thursday, Sept. 17, in the Spicewood Community Center. The council also voted to set a property tax rate of 0.095 cents per $100 valuation, identical to last year’s.
The establishment of an exclusive city office “has become mandatory,” according to the summary comments for the budget.
At this rate, the total income from ad valorem property taxes in the adopted budget is $66,307.61, a 3.4 percent increase over the previous year. It is lower than the No-New Revenue Tax Rate of 0.0984.
Total operating expenses increased 17.8 percent. A general fund of $970 and a reserve fund of $6,020.73 were carried over from the last fiscal year but remain untapped.
Salaries and wages in 2019-20 were based on a partial, 9-month work year. The 2020-21 budget reflects a full-year payroll but also a 15 percent reduction of hours due to expense reduction efforts.
All legal services, city attorney, and litigation are now provided by a single firm, Messer, Fort & McDonald in Frisco. At a projected $25,272.61, these are the largest expenses for the embattled city, which is in the midst of a lawsuit with the state of Texas concerning the city’s incorporation in December 2018. In the lawsuit, the state charges that the city was illegally formed.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this article stated that the rented offices would serve as council chambers for the city. They will not. The article also stated that the city incorporated in December 2019. It was actually incorporated in 2018.