by VERONICA GORDON
Buda City Manager Kenneth Williams did a little dance last Thursday after the council unanimously approved the budget and tax rate for the next fiscal year.
The council applauded itself for passing a $16.6 million budget that includes more public safety officers and additional city staff.
“I’m glad to say the city of Buda budget for next fiscal year will be implemented, and with that let’s rock and roll forward,” said Mayor Sarah Mangham.
The council held numerous workshops in the past few months to determine where the city should focus its spending and how it can raise revenue. The council also held public hearings that no residents attended to speak for or against the proposed budget and tax rate.
The budget will raise more revenue from property taxes than in the previous year. The 2012-2013 tax rate is set at $0.2713 per $100 valuation, compared to last year’s rate of $0.266. Taxes on the average home last year were $411.10. That bill will increase to $421.54 with the new tax rate. The increase will generate between $16,000 to $18,000 in additional revenue.
In August, Mangham voted against raising the tax rate.
“I’ve said my spiel about that,” she said Thursday.
Council Member Ron Fletcher said the city would be taking in less revenue at the previous year’s rate.
“We need that revenue for more money for streets and public safety,” Fletcher said in August.
Fletcher and Mayor Pro Tem Sandra Tenorio were not present for the final vote.
The budget also includes a 2 percent increase in water rates and a 3 percent increase in wastewater rates, an increase in permit fees and a higher city contribution to employee health benefits.
Under the new budget, council also created a separate department for the city secretary and will hire a city planner, four police officers and a human resources manager. The city will also purchase vehicles for the additional officers and a new vehicle for the public works department.
“We’re growing as a city and we need a professional person to handle not just benefits, but risk management as well,” Williams said.
The budget and tax rate become effective Oct. 1.
- Buda sets tax rate hearings 08/9/2012
- Kyle foresees 3 cent tax hike 07/21/2010
- Buda joins water utility fight; city also OKs tax rate, budget 09/21/2011