After increasing the tax rate in the city last year by 2.5 cents, Palmview’s interim city manager recommended to the city council that tax rate remained unchanged.
Last September, the city approved the new tax rate that increased the rate to .5001 cents per $100 of assessed to generate approximately $100,000. That money was designated go toward making installment payments on the city’s $1.5 million street paving project, a new ambulance for the fire department and a police cruiser as well nearly $2 million in debt the city is facing from unpaid loans.
“Right now we’re not recommending you increase the taxes, we’re recommending we leave it at same rate,” interim City Manager Leo Olivares told the council Tuesday. “That will generate some additional revenue-about $200,000 because the total amount of assessed values in the city went up, it’s something that’s positive for the city.”
According to Rachel Chapa, the city’s financial director, Palmview’s finances are “stable.”
“We’re still a little tight but we’re slowly seeing the light but we still have to continue with our conservative policies and tightening our belts,” Chapa said. “The city still owes a lot.”
Chapa said after the meeting that the city has made payments of $180,000-the minimum annual payments- for the unpaid loans the city owes.
A setback in paying off this debt is the fact that the city is still finding new debt, Chapa said. The city is still finding several unpaid bills and are being contacted every month by a different business to let them know of money owed to them from the city.
“Our situation right now is we don’t know what we don’t know. We don’t know what bills are out there,” Chapa said. “Every month we have a new discovery and those items are not accounted for in our budget, so that’s how they burn our budget because we don’t account for them.”
The city is expected to approve the city’s budget and unchanged property tax rate for the next fiscal year at the Tuesday, September 14 meeting.
“Right now we’re stable,” Chapa said of the city’s financials, which is expecting $6.1 million next year in revenues according to the proposed budget. “We’re moving forward at a slow pace.”