Sullivan City plans to keep property tax rate steady next year

This article originally appeared in the Friday Aug. 23, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.

The Sullivan City Commission plans to keep the current property tax rate.

Members of the City Commission voted 3-0 on Tuesday to recommend that Sullivan City keep the property tax rate at 50 cents per $100 of taxable assessed valuation next year.

SullivanCityLogo“The city’s doing fine, financially,” said Mayor Leo Garcia, adding that Sullivan City didn’t want to burden residents with bigger tax bills.

Sullivan City residents pay a lower property tax rate than Peñitas and La Joya residents, but a higher rate than Alton and Mission residents. Palmview residents pay roughly the same rate.

Every penny adds $10 to the annual tax bill for a property worth $100,000.

The average single-family home in Sullivan City is appraised at approximately $56,600, according to Hidalgo County Appraisal District records. Without any exemptions, the owner would pay about $283 in city property taxes.

Sullivan City hasn’t adjusted the property tax rate since September 2017, when it jumped from 46.06 cents to 50 cents. The City Commission reviews the tax rate every summer as part of the annual budget process.

When the City Commission met Tuesday afternoon, City Manager Richard Ozuna and City Secretary Veronica Gutierrez said they recommended keeping the property tax rate at 50 cents.

“We are trying to not go up or down on our tax rate,” Gutierrez said.

Sullivan City would collect about $521,000 in property taxes — about $7,800 more than last year, thanks to new development or higher property valuations, according to documents reviewed by the City Commission.

“That money would be used to help us in the road repairs,” Gutierrez said.

City Commissioner Sylvia Castillo motioned to keep the property tax rate at 50 cents. City Commissioner Julian Peña seconded the motion, which passed 3-0.

The City Commission will hold public hearings on the property tax rate Sept. 3 and Sept. 10. The tax rate may be formally adopted Sept. 17.

“What’s going to be generated is going to be minimal,” said Ramon Segovia, a consultant who advises Sullivan City on the budget. “We didn’t want to go up, but at the same time we didn’t want to go down. I think it’s a fair rate considering the rates of everybody around us.”

La Joya collects 56.68 cents per $100 of taxable assessed valuation, according to the county appraisal district. Peñitas collects 55.62 cents.

Alton and Mission maintain significantly lower property tax rates.

Alton collects 44.4 cents per $100 of taxable assessed valuation, according to the county appraisal district. Mission collects 48.62 cents.

Sullivan City’s property tax rate is roughly the same as Palmview, which collects 50.01 cents per $100 of taxable assessed valuation.

“The City Commission and the mayor strongly felt it was best to leave it as-is,” Segovia said.

Sullivan City’s fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

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