Athens Review, Athens, Texas

August 19, 2013

City budget hearings to begin

Public’s chance to comment on possible tax hike is Wednesday

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — The Athens City Council holds the first of two public hearings on a possible tax increase during a special session at the City Hall Annex on Wednesday.

During the meeting that convenes at 11:30 a.m., the council will also discuss the $15,350,822 budget which is due for a public hearing at the next regular-scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.  The city’s work on the budget is progressing at a pace similar to the 2013 project, which saw the first reading of the package passed on Aug. 27.

City Administrator Pam Burton said there are no major changes in the budget compared to the 2013 document. The proposed budget calls for $9,570,913 in general-fund expenditures. Debt service accounted for $631,401 of the total. The utility fund total was $4,875,728. The budget increases the total expenditures from the $15,462,940 total and $9,465,429 general fund in the current budget.

To fund the budget, Athens is proposing a .645140 tax rate, up from .630387 a year ago. The proposed rate, if adopted, will raise revenues an estimated 4.02 percent.

The highest rate the city could have imposed without holding a public hearing is .6201186, an amount which would raise $16,168 more than the 2012 taxes.

If the council approves the proposed rate, the average taxpayer will pay $507.57 on an average home. The levy imposed last year on an average residence was $496.55.

The new budget will go into effect Oct. 1 and runs through Sept. 31, 2014.  Property owners will receive their tax statements from the Henderson County Tax Assessor Collector in October.