No tax increase in Tyler's proposed budget

Posted by Reid Kerr - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -  The city of Tyler hopes there will be no change in the future for their tax rate.

City Manager Mark McDaniel will present the 2009-2010 proposed fiscal year budget to the City Council on Wednesday night. the new budget will call for maintaining the existing tax rate of 20.4 cents per $100 valuation, even in the face of a $1.3 million budget shortfall.

The shortfall is projected due to a two percent drop in sales tax revenue and a zero percent projected growth for fiscal year 2009-2010.

"Although Tyler has weathered the national economic downturn better than many cities across the country due to our strong financial position, the decrease in sales tax revenue is a tremendous impact to our operating budget," said Mayor Barbara Bass.  "We know that our citizens are facing similar constraints, so we have looked for every possible way to tighten our belts so that there will be no tax rate increase."

To help maintain the budget, 16 positions have been frozen or eliminated from departments including the City Manager's Office, Parks, Engineering, Municipal Court and Development Services.  The city will save $750,435 annually by not filling these positions.

The proposed budget also recommends adjusting some miscellaneous use fees including those for burglar and fire alarms, funeral escorts, fire inspections, park special events and rentals, airport fuel flowage and adult softball leagues.  A previously planned for utility rate increase of six percent also will be implemented as planned, as well as a five percent adjustment for Solid Waste services and a premium for pack out.

"In lieu of an across the board tax rate increase, use fees have been adjusted so those citizens utilizing a service contribute to offsetting the expense," explained Mayor Bass.

In addition to Wednesday's presentation, there will be three additional opportunities for public input on the budget, including two public hearings.  The hearings will be at nine a.m. at Tyler City Hall, 212 N. Bonner Avenue, on August 26 and September ninth.

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