The Brenham City Council has approved adoption of a proposed tax rate of 51.4 cents per $100 valuation.
The council at its meeting this (Thursday) afternoon approved the rate, which is slightly lower than last year’s rate of 51.7 cents per $100. It maintains the same operations and maintenance (O&M) rate of 32 cents, while reducing the interest and sinking (I&S) rate from 19.7 cents to 19.4 cents.
However, even though the tax rate is lower, rising property values will still mean higher taxes for many Brenham homeowners.
Numbers from the Washington County Appraisal District show the average Brenham homestead this year is valued at $175,979, compared to $162,511 a year ago. The net annual tax for the average homeowner, with the proposed rate, would come out to $904.53. This is up $64.35 from last year’s $840.18 with the old tax, a 7.6 percent increase.
The Appraisal District has certified taxable values in Brenham this year at $1.45 billion, $135 million above last year’s adjusted values. The net increase is made up of $16 million in new properties and improvements, and $119 million in existing property values and other changes.
Taking the increased property values into account, along with the unchanged O&M rate, the city expects to generate $382,000 in additional tax revenue to the general fund. Finance Director Carolyn Miller said the city will also soon see its first investment into the newly created Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) Fund.
The council has set public hearings on the proposed tax rate for August 14th and September 5th. Formal votes for the rate will take place at the council’s meetings on September 16th and 19th.
Also in session, the council heard from a citizen who brought up the surveys being hosted across town by Prairie View A&M professor Dr. Logan Yelderman, in regards to the city potentially adopting a form of prisoner re-entry program.
The citizen asked if the city knew of the surveys taking place, and if it would take a stance on the matter. City Manager James Fisher said that both he and the council were unaware of the surveys. He said the matter may be brought up at a future council meeting.
The council also:
- Approved changes to off-street parking requirements, reducing the minimum parking space size for 45, 60, and 90 degree spaces. Councilmembers approved a minimum size of 9 feet by 19 feet, and approved setting a minimum size for compact parking spaces. Development Services Director Stephanie Doland said the width of the traffic aisle will not change. The council also approved changes to landscaping requirements for parking areas. Minimum landscaping requirements were increased from 5 percent to 15 percent of the site area, up to 8 percent if the property is redeveloped.
- Adopted a debt management policy.
- Approved creation of a tax reinvestment zone for Del Sol Foods, Inc.
- Approved changes to zoning for Circle K’s proposed convenience store on Highway 105 and Blinn’s proposed monument sign along West Fifth Street, between Prairie Lea and High Streets.
- Approved awarding a $292,633 contract to Solid Bridge Construction for drainage improvements in the Louanna Estates subdivision.
- Approved a resolution authorizing the acceptance of infrastructure improvements in the Oak Alley Phase I and Phase II subdivision.
- Approved a specific use permit for Texas Plumbing Supply, to allow for open/outdoor display or storage of retail merchandise as an accessory use.
- Recognized the city as a recipient of the Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the ninth straight year.