Proposed Tyler budget: Taxes to stay the same, water and sewage rates to rise
The Tyler city council met on Wednesday to hear the proposed budget. (Source: KLTV staff)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
The Tyler city council met Wednesday morning in front of a packed room to hear the 2014-2015 budget proposal, which would keep the city's current 22 cent tax rate.
"Slight growth in property values, sales tax revenues, and the work our city employees have done to enhance efficiency and productivity, we are able to keep Tyler's tax rate," said outgoing city manager Mark McDaniel.
Tyler has the lowest tax rates compared to other Texas cities with populations over 16,000. Noted during the proposal, the city with the closest tax rate is Sugarland, has a tax rate of 31 cents.
Water and sewage rates will increase by 5 percent in the coming year according to the proposal. Not only will Tyler residents feel an increase, but communities that contract with the city for water and sewage will also be subjected to rising rates.
For the average customer, a five percent equates to $3.04 added to monthly bills.
The utility increase will address several capital improvement projects such as repairing the Lake Tyler dam, and extending sewer lines in south Tyler.
Tyler experienced a 2.6 percent increase in collections of property tax this year. Mcdaniel said new construction and annexations are responsible for the city's growing tax base.
Home prices in Tyler are up $4,159, according to the city. The average price of a home in 2014 is $161,724. up from $157,565 in 2013.
Under the proposed budget, city employees will be eligible for up to a four percent raise. The city hopes to restore its raise policy after spending more than three years recovering from an economic recession. Raises are performance-based.
Several new jobs were also proposed in the budget presentation as the city looks to regain positions it cut back during the recession. The city plans to add nine positions to the water utilities department, restore an airport tech position at the airport, and return a security officer to the library.