MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Midland homeowners may see a slight increase in their property taxes next year.
This year homeowners paid 38.048 cents per $100 dollars assessed valuation. In 2017, that number could go up slightly to 38.8038 per $100 assessed valuation.
"We are trying to keep things slow and steady... in the past few years.. we could have dropped the tax rate even lower.. but then people this year would have to see us play catch up and we would have to raise the tax rate even more," said City spokesperson Sara Bustilloz,
The 2017 budget is aimed at maintaining current levels of services even while the city suffers a downturn in the economy.
"Give the citizens the best tax rate, yet insure that those services are going to continue to be out there and what I like to say is that citizens can get a good return on their tax investment," said Mayor Jerry Morales.
Sales tax revenue has steadily declined. With the mining, oil/gas and pipeline declining 42 percent. Retail is highest percentage of sales tax, which fell more than 11 percent.
The increase in property taxes will help the city pay for replacement vehicles for police officers and tackle projects like the 30 percent of roads that are damaged beyond repair.
"That's going to cost a $112 million. Do we do a referendum? How can we do it through this budget? To begin, one is to build new roads, fix roads and do repair maintenance on roads," said Morales.
Mayor Morales says its all about preparing for the future of Midland.
City council will have two votes to approve the proposed budget for 2017.
Before city council votes on the budget, there will be several hearings for citizens to share their concerns about the tax rate increase. The first meeting will take place on August 16. The second will be on August 23.
There will also be a third public hearing on August 30 for residents to talk about the budget as a whole.