The City of Athens has set two public hearings on the tax rate which will fund the budget to go into effect Oct. 1.

The hearings will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 12 and Aug. 26 at the City Hall Annex at 501 N. Pinkerton. The public is invited to come and listen to the city officials and comment on the proposal.

Athens Finance Director Mandie Quigg said the original budget calendar had the first hearing set for Aug. 9.

"There were some schedules that were unexpectedly conflicting from when I put the calendar out," Quigg said.

The proposed rate of $.685221 per $100 valuation is the same as the rate as is in place in 2019. It is below the rollback rate of  $.701772. The rollback rate is the highest the city can adopt before it goes to to the public for an election.

The proposed rate is above the effective rate of $.641509 per 100 valuation. The effective rate is the amount needed to raise revenue equal to the previous year.

According to the Texas Local Government Code, if the proposed rate is above the effective rate, state law requires two public hearings before it can be adopted. Once a proposed rate is adopted the council can not set a higher rate, but can set a lower one.

On July 17, the city council heard an update from Quigg on the budget process. The total of projected General Fund revenues is $10,987,850.

Estimated expenditures total $11,142,815. Of that, $8.330,192 comes from personnel expenses. Police and fire services make up the majority of the expense. Utility Fund expenditures are projected at $5,846,821. Projected utility fund revenues total $5,937,000.

The city will continue to fine tune the budget over the next weeks, with passage tentatively set for September 9.