If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
The city of Mission may see taxes raised in the upcoming fiscal year.
Last Thurs. Aug. 13, and this Wed. Aug. 19, the Mission city council met to discuss the tax rate as it relates to the preliminary budget. City Manager Randy Perez presented several possibilities for the tax rate last week.
Last year, the tax rate was 0.5212 per $100 valuation. The initial proposed rate for 2020-2021 was 0.5299 per $100 valuation, an increase of 0.0087.
The increase would raise the general fund balance by approximately $1.1 million, according to Perez.
Perez presented six different options based on the different salary scenario impacts proposed by the city council, with a 0.5299 tax rate and 96 percent collection rate of the tax levy in mind. In the last few workshops, Mayor Armando O’caña and the council members discussed potential raises for all civilian city employees and first responders, including the police and fire departments.
Option A included a $1 raise for every employee across the board, including civilians and first responders. The total impact on the budget would be $1,792,817.
Option B included a $1 increase for civilian employees, an 8 percent raise for the police department and a 6 percent for the fire department. The overall impact would be $2,209,346.
Option C included a $1 raise for civilians, an 8 percent increase for the police and 3 percent for the fire. The total impact would be $2,086,186.
Option D included a $1 raise for civilians, a 4 percent raise for the police and a 6 percent increase for the fire. The overall impact would be $1,843,405.
Option E included a $1 increase for civilians, a 4 percent raise for the police department and a 3 percent raise for the fire department. This would impact the budget by $1,721,045.
Option F included a longevity scenario for employees, who would see more raises depending on how many years they have worked for the city of Mission, which would cost an estimated $1 million. In this scenario, the police department would see a raise of 4 percent, the fire department would see 3 percent, leading to a total impact of $1,525,185.
Mayor O’caña also asked for his own proposal to be shown to the council, which would raise all civilian employee salaries by $1, with a 4 percent raise for the police department for two years. O’caña’s proposal included hazard pay for the police and fire departments.
For the general fund to be in an “okay standing” according to Perez, the tax rate would have to be adjusted proportionate to the approved increases. The rate for each option varies from 0.53652 to 0.550931 per $100 valuation.
After a few questions and proposals from the council members, they all agreed to meet this week (Wed. Aug. 19) for an additional workshop relevant to the tax rate.
Because the Governor has declared a state of disaster, the city can raise the tax rate by up to 8 percent without an election – originally, the limit would have been 3.5 percent. Perez presented options again this week, now factoring the different calculations if council voted for the same tax rate (0.5212), a tax rate of 0.5299, and an 8 percent increase of 0.5490 per $100 valuation. He also presented three new options.
Option G included a $1 raise for civilian employees, with a longevity scenario for directors, an 8 percent raise for the police and a 3 percent raise for fire. Option H included a 3 percent raise for civilian employees, an 8 percent increase for police and a 3 percent increase for fire.
Option I included a $0.75 raise for all civilian employees, with a longevity scenario across the board. It also included an 8 percent raise for police and a 3 percent raise for fire.
Based on calculations, Perez said staff recommended an 8 percent increase to the tax rate, which would land the tax rate at 0.5490. Mayor O’caña agreed.
Council members Ruben Plata and Alberto Vela said they would prefer to keep the tax rate the same, at 0.5212. Council member Jessica Ortega-Ochoa was not present for the Wednesday workshop.
Mayor Pro-Tem Norie Gonzalez Garza said she would prefer a smaller increase, with a tax rate at 0.5299. Council will hold a public hearing and take a record vote on the rate during the Monday Aug. 24, 2020 city council meeting.