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The Marble Falls City Council adopted a new budget and tax rate for the 2022-23 fiscal year during a regular meeting Tuesday, Sept. 6. The new rate is $0.5577 per $100 valuation.

A 4-cent decrease from the current rate of $0.599, the reduction marks the sixth consecutive year the city has lowered its property tax rate.

“Since the five years I’ve been on (City Council), I think it was almost 63 cents,” Councilor Dave Rhodes said. “We’ve lowered the rate eight cents since then.”

The new budget will clear the way for the city to continue projects such as the fire station No. 1 renovation plan and design costs for the new City Hall and the new wastewater treatment plant. 

Other highlights include employee performance-based raises, the creation of several new city staff positions, and the purchase of vehicles for code enforcement and the Marble Falls Police Department.

To calculate the city’s overall tax rate, city finance officials combine the overall maintenance and operations tax rate with the city’s debt service tax rate.

The city’s maintenance and operations tax rate for the new fiscal year will be $0.2100, while the interest and sinking tax rate, also known as the debt service rate, is set at $0.3477.

During the meeting, Mayor Richard Westerman provided an explanation on how land values are decided by the Burnet Central Appraisal District, noting the city’s lack of authority during that process. Property valuations plus the tax rate determine a taxpayer’s final amount due. While a tax rate decreases, property tax bills will most likely be higher because of the higher valuations. 

“Most people get mad at the county, the school, or the city for those values going up,” he said. “We literally had nothing to do with it.”