El Paso City Council to vote on proposed tax hike Tuesday

El Paso City Council to vote on proposed tax hike Tuesday
KTSM
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POSTED: Sunday, August 17, 2014 - 9:20am

UPDATED: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 1:56pm

El Paso's city council is scheduled to issue its final verdict when it comes a proposed property tax rate hike.

On Tuesday, the city representatives will take last minute public comments before voting to adopt City Manager Tommy González's $826 million city budget for fiscal year 2015, which calls for the tax increase.

The proposal would raise the property tax rate from the current $0.678 per $100 of home valuation to $0.699. That would mean an increase of about $34 per year for the average El Paso homeowner.

Despite the apparent hike, González told NewsChannel9 in July that the budget as a whole would remain relatively flat, if passed as is, when it comes to actual city operations.

"The only thing we're looking at to pay is the quality of life bond projects, which the citizens voted on," González said.

"We bought a 'new car' and now we're paying for it," he added.

The proposed tax rate sits slightly below the "effective" tax rate, or the rate needed to collect the same amount of tax revenue as the previous year.

If approved, El Paso's new property tax rate would be the third highest in the state amongst large cities, just behind Fort Worth at 86 cents per $100, and Dallas at 80 cents.

San Antonio and Austin round out the bottom of the list at 56 and 50 cents, respectively, though both of those cities own their electric utilities, offsetting their operating costs.

Tuesday's meeting begins at 8 a.m.

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