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Sullivan City plans to increase property tax rate

The Sullivan City Council plans to increase the property tax rate by about 3% in late September.

Mayor Alma Salinas and the City Council discussed the proposed tax hike on Tuesday afternoon.

“I think our community members will understand,” Salinas said. “And they can see that we’ve invested in our community.”

Salinas, City Councilman Rene “Cuate” Peña and City Councilman Ramon Moreno voted to proceed with the proposed tax rate on Tuesday. City Councilman Jaime Villarreal and City Councilman Julian Peña didn’t attend the meeting.

“We just need to keep up with the demands of the city,” Moreno said. “And that’s one way of doing it.”

The additional money will allow Sullivan City to provide better services, Moreno said, and keep up with the rising cost of health insurance.

Under the proposal, Sullivan City would increase the property tax rate from 48.38 cents to 50 cents per $100 of taxable assessed valuation.

Every cent adds $10 to the annual bill for a property valued at $100,000.

During the past decade, Sullivan City substantially increased the property tax rate.

Sullivan City charged 38.38 cents per $100 of taxable assessed valuation in 2013, according to Hidalgo County Appraisal District records. The City Council increased the property tax rate in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

By 2018, the tax rate had reached 50 cents. The City Council lowered the tax rate to 48.38 cents in 2021.

Under the proposal, the tax rate would return to 50 cents. The new tax rate would still rank among the lowest in western Hidalgo County.

La Joya collects 58.98 cents per $100 of taxable assessed valuation. Peñitas collects 55.62 cents. And Palmview collects 50.01 cents.

“We are, right now, still the lowest city in western Hidalgo County,” Rene “Cuate” Peña said.

The relatively low property tax rate, however, may not provide much comfort to Sullivan City homeowners already struggling with sky-high appraisals.

From 2021 to 2022, the average taxable value of a homestead in Sullivan City jumped from about $70,000 to nearly $78,600, according to appraisal district records.

Even without a tax hike, the average property tax bill would increase from $338.72 to $380.19 because property valuations increased.

If the City Council increased the tax rate, the average homeowner would pay $392.93 instead.

Sullivan City plans to hold public hearings on Sept. 21 and Sept. 26. The City Council will vote on the tax rate after the second public hearing.

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