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Peñitas city council approves 5-cent property tax increase

City of Penitas logoCity council members unanimously voted to increase Peñitas’ tax rate during their latest meeting Wednesday. This will lead to nearly $100,000 in revenue that will go toward funding upcoming projects, city officials said


The city tax rate will increase from 50 cents to 55 cents per $100 of assessed evaluation, City Manager Omar Romero explained. With the new tax rate, Peñitas residents can expect to see a tax increase of $50 per year for a home valued at $100,000, Romero said.


Because the city is attempting to maintain current service and funding levels with the new tax rate, the city is not required to hold a public hearing on the tax rate, Romero said.


“The increase is due to changes in property evaluations and homestead exemptions that lowered property values and how much money we could take in,” Romero said. “Without adopting this tax rate, we’d stand to lose $97,000.”


Peñitas Mayor Rodrigo “Rigo” Lopez said he supported the increase because he felt it would lead to growth in the city.


In other business, the city also swore in two police officers. The officers, Marco Delgado and Jesse James Garcia, are both from Peñitas. According to Police Chief Roel Bermea, the city police department currently has 15 officers on staff not including Delgado and Garcia who are officers on reserve. This means they are volunteer officers who are only required to work a minimum of 18 hours per month, Bermea said.


Romero also announced that the city is preparing to hold a groundbreaking for a new city hall along Liberty Avenue behind the Peñitas Walmart within the next two months.


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