City of Tyler proposes increasing property tax rate in upcoming budget

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Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 5:35 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2021 at 7:03 PM CDT

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - As the financial impact of COVID-19 became clear in 2020, the city of Tyler froze hiring positions and cut funding for some departments.

Fast forward to today, City Manager Ed Broussard says they’ve emerged from the COVID-19 slump. He says sales tax revenue − which makes up nearly half of the city’s general fund − is expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels.

“Once you had kinda that momentary blip in decline in April and May of 2020, then the economy picked back up and we actually ended this current year, we expect to end 11% over the past year,” Broussard said.

Another valuable source of revenue for the city is hotel occupancy tax. Broussard says its recovery is due in part to those helping staff East Texas hospitals.

“They have been able to have with the traveling nurses that were into the hospitals they were able to stay at the hotels, pay hotel occupancy tax. They were able to get to see as far as a recovery there and then once spring came about back here in Tyler and summer especially, those numbers reached back up to pre-pandemic levels,” Broussard said.

Over $30 million in proposed funding would go to the police department, allowing them to hire more staff, including a homeless coordinator. The fire department would get more than $20 million. Part of that funding would be used to purchase a new tower truck.

“The big emphasis is really on the public safety side. We are making a huge push on making sure that our police and fire pay is staying competitive, that with the equipment and resources that they need is there and available to them,” Broussard said.

After cutting the property tax rate by .09 cents in 2020, the new budget proposes raising that rate by 1.09 cents. If approved, the new property tax rate would be .2699 cents per $100 valuation.

“For a $200,000 home, they’re looking at a little bit about over probably $21 increase for the year ahead on property taxes with the new rate,” Broussard said.

As for water and sewer base rates, the budget proposes no increase.

Tyler residents can give input on the proposed budget at the next city council meeting on Wednesday, September 8th at 9 a.m.

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