On Sept. 26 Alton’s city commission is scheduled to vote on final approval of the city’s budget to include a half-cent reduction in the city’s property tax.
Currently at 0.449 per $100 of assessed property valuation, the proposed tax rate would decrease by a half cent to 0.444. According to Deputy City Manager Jeff Underwood, this would be the 10th year in a row the city has dropped the tax rate and the city will vote on the decrease at a budget presentation scheduled on Sept. 26.
The commission will vote on an overall budget of just over $5 million, said City Manager Jorge Arcuate. Arcuate said the city is able to lower the property tax rate while maintaining the balanced budget because the city has experienced steady growth and the sales tax rate has nearly doubled over the past decade.
“So relief on the property tax side is what the mayor has requested and that’s what we’ve done,” Arcuate said of Mayor Salvador Vela. “He has stressed that since my first day on the job.”
During the city commission’s Tuesday meeting the city became the latest to officially oppose President Trump’s call to build additional border walls or fences in the RGV.
Commissioners unanimously voted to approve a resolution opposing the building of border infrastructure, which includes walls, levees or fences along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“It’s the right thing to do,” Vela said after the meeting. “We voted for it because it’s good for the Valley.”
Alton joins the cities of McAllen, Edinburg, Pharr, San Juan, Alamo, Palmview, Sullivan City, Brownsville, Mission, La Joya, Weslaco and the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court that have passed such measures.
Arcuate said the resolution is similar to one passed by the city of Mission last month. The resolution states that the city commission is opposed to any new border walls, fences or levees and “denounces” any federal funding for a wall.
“Let it be further resolved, that the City Commission urges the President of the United States of America, and the United States Congress, to reconsider the use of taxpayer money for border infrastructure, and instead utilize the allocated resources to provide more cost effective methods of enforcing immigration policies, such as technology and additional personnel, which would create jobs and stimulate the region, as opposed to the negative effects associated with the wall,” the resolution states.