CITY BUDGET WORKSHOPS PROJECT TAX REDUCTION

Property owners in the City of Brenham could see about a 7 cent reduction in their tax rate this fall if everything goes as planned.

After several days of budget workshops, the Brenham City Council has projected a tax rate of 49.12 cents per $100 valuation for the 2014-2015 general budget.  That would be 13 percent less than the current rate of 56.32 cents.  Most of the tax rate cut comes from the almost $1 million savings due to Washington County taking over the emergency communications department.  Brenham City Manager Terry Roberts says as a tradeoff for the communications department, the County will no longer be paying the City about $180,000 for animal control and fire services.

Street maintenance was a key topic of discussion in the budget workshops, and Roberts says the Council is committed to increasing street reconstruction.  The amount budgeted was increased from $135,000 to $360,000, with the additional money coming from the City’s reserve funds.  Roberts says the money will be used for major street work.

City employees will have to wait until later in the budget year to find out if they will get a pay increase.  Council members discussed a 2 percent cost of living wage increase for city employees, but decided to push that decision off until later.  General fund revenues have been running about the same as last year.