By Patty Montagno
In a unanimous vote during the August 3 meeting, members of the Sachse City Council approved a proposed property tax rate of 75.7279 cents per $100 of assessed value to fund 2015-’16 fiscal year operations.
The tax rate will be addressed at public hearings on Aug. 17 and Sept. 1 prior to formal adoption.
Finance Director Teresa Savage said the city should adopt a tax rate that will at a minimum, support the operations and cover the debt obligations of the city for the 2015-’16 year.
“When a proposed tax rate exceeds the rollback or the effective tax rate, whichever is lower, a vote to place a proposal to adopt the rate on the agenda of a future meeting as an action item is required,” she said. “This vote must be recorded, the proposal must specify the desired rate, two public hearings must be scheduled, and the public notified regarding the dates, times, and place for the hearings.”
Savage said the proposed rate of 75.7279 cents per $100 assessed valuation is the rollback rate as calculated by Dallas County Tax Assessor, or eight percent above the actual tax rate.
“The proposed budget which is being presented tonight is based on a rate of 74.2769 cents, which is the Rollback rate as estimated by city staff,” she said. “The proposal being acted on here sets the maximum rate which would be considered.”
Savage said the city fiscal and budgetary policy states that the debt to operations component of the tax rate should not exceed 30 percent. The proposed rate of 75.7279 cents is comprised of a Maintenance and Operations rate of 57.2279 cents and an Interest and Sinking rate of 18.50 cents for a ratio of 75.6 percent to 24.4 percent.
Savage explained that the average taxable value of a residence homestead in the city last year was $177,186. Based on last year’s tax rate of 77.0819 cents per $100 of taxable value, the amount of taxes imposed last year on the average home was $1,366.
The average taxable value of a residence homestead in city this year is $196,126. If the governing body adopts the effective tax rate for this year of 71.3377 cents per $100 of taxable value, the amount of taxes imposed this year on the average home would be $1,399. If the governing body adopts the proposed tax rate of 75.7279 per $100 of taxable value, the amount of taxes imposed this year on the average home would be $1,485, an increase of $86.
Before the vote, Savage stated that once the rate is set, council has the option to go lower – but not higher. City council will need to consider setting and adopting a tax rate on a future agenda that supports the overall budget objectives as proposed for the 2015-’16 fiscal year.