Chris Roark, [email protected]
Waxahachie City Council on Monday set the tax rate for fiscal 2022-23 at $0.63 per $100 appraisal, which, if adopted, would represent a three cent reduction from the current year.
The council also set a date for a public hearing on the tax rate and budget for August 30 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 401 S. Rogers St.
The council will approve the budget and tax rate on September 6 at 7 p.m.
The proposed tax rate is lower than the rate the city originally considered earlier this summer, $0.655.
During a business session Aug. 4, Chad Tustison, the city’s Treasury Director, said Waxahachie brought in $5.2 billion in property tax revenue that year, an increase of $1.2 billion, or 30 percent. He said this allows the city to propose a lower rate.
Of the 63 cents, 38.6 cents would go to the maintenance and operations (M&O) side of the budget, 22.4 cents to debt service, and 2.1 cents to the library.
If the council approves the 63-cent tax rate, the owner of a $250,000 home would pay $75 less in city taxes if their home value stayed the same from last year, $12 less if their home value increased 4 percent, and $83 more if it were 10 percent higher.
Waxahachie city taxes represent 31 percent of a property owner’s tax bill, with the school district accounting for 54 percent and Ellis County accounting for 15 percent.
The excluding new revenue rate required to collect the same amount of property taxes as the previous year is $0.540834.
Councilwoman Billie Wallace voted against the motion, saying she would like the tax rate to be less than 63 cents.
“Setting the tax rate at 63 cents is just too high given inflated property valuations and more than expected earnings,” Wallace said. “Even if we lower the tax rate from 66 cents to 63 cents, we taxpayers will still be paying more property taxes to the City of Waxahachie than we did last year. I will continue to be a voice on the council to bring relief to taxpayers whenever possible.”
The Council is considering further measures for future tax relief.
Currently, the city is offering residents age 65 and older a $30,000 exemption. During a working session earlier this month, the council asked the staff to consider the impact of an increase, saying it could have a bigger impact than cutting the tax rate.
The council also discussed the introduction of an optional homestead. The homestead exemption exempts a portion of the value of a homeowner’s home from taxation.