Dripping Springs approves 2022 budget

By Megan Wehring

DRIPPING SPRINGS – Dripping Springs approved a budget with $29 million in revenue.

At its Sept. 21 meeting, the Dripping Springs City Council also approved no increase in the property tax rate, keeping the rate at $0.19 per $100 valuation.

In the approved budget, the city is looking at $29,684,646.21 total revenue and $21,087,693.29 in total expenses. The primary operating funds for the city derive from the Consolidated General Fund, Farmers Market, Hotel Occupancy and Wastewater, according to finance director Shawn Cox.

The increase in funds, even with no increase in the tax rate per $100, comes from the increased total tax levy on all properties, including those just added to the tax rolls within the city.

In 2020, the total tax levy was $1,521.115, while in 2021 it increases to $1,853.806, an increase of $332,691, or 21.87%.

The average taxable value of a homestead within the city of Dripping Springs in 2020 was $377,638; in 2021 that value increased to $415,407, an increase of $37,769 or 10%.

“The council, knowing the economic challenges many could face due to COVID-19, balanced the budget with no increase in the property tax rate,” the city said in a press release.

This budget will raise more total property taxes than last year’s budget by $352,174.21, which is a 21.59% increase. Of that amount, $207,432.61 is tax revenue that will be raised from new property.

Additional improvements were also approved. Over $775,000 will be committed to major transportation developments and maintenance; over $113,000 will go toward park improvements next year funded by parkland dedication fees; and for the first time, the city’s budget will provide an in-house wastewater utility system.

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Megan Navarro (Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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