First of 5 public meetings on tax, budget held in Midland

First of 5 public meetings on tax, budget held in Midland

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - During Tuesday's special budget and tax rate meeting for the city of Midland, the city council decided on using an "effective plus 4" a higher tax rate then the usual "effective plus 3."

Taxpayers would see a two cent increase, which increases the budget to around $1.8 million but also increases the average homeowner's property tax by 1.8 percent. Councilman J. Ross Lacy said a potential tax rate that high is unacceptable.

"I do not think it is a smart decision to raise the tax rate two cents during this time especially whenever you see what's happening. Every taxpayer in the city and Midland County is going to be increasing their taxes this year," said Lacy.

Lacy said the contrast between the property evaluations and the discussed tax rate doesn't help the city's situation.

"We're not seeing a huge decrease in our property evaluations. In fact, our property evaluations increase $450 million dollars this year and yet we're still increasing the tax rate. It's unacceptable," said Lacy.

Lacy added the price to run a city is very costly and when they are 25% in the budget for road maintenance, it's hard to look at other sources before they can move onto anything else. He offered a possible first step to solving the issue.

"Have the voters see if they want to issue $150+ million dollars worth of bonds over a five year period. You can't issue it all at once, to put into street maintenance, that way you would increase the tax rate but it would be voter approved," said Lacy.

The next public meeting is scheduled for August 16 then three more after. The City Council will then make a decision on a new tax rate and budget for the upcoming year.

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