A heated exchange took place this (Monday) morning during a special meeting of the Brenham City Council. The meeting was held to approve the city budget for the upcoming Fiscal Year. Council member Danny Goss moved that the proposed one cent tax increase be dropped and the tax rate be kept the same as last year. With the increased property valuations, that tax rate would bring an additional 5 percent to the city. Goss’s motion died for lack of a second. The council then voted to adopt a one cent higher tax rate of $0.517 which is effectively a 7 percent increase. Goss was the only council member to vote no.
Council member Susan Cantey questioned why Goss didn’t object during the budget workshop meetings and stated that he was grandstanding now. Goss stated that Cantey didn’t understand how City Council works and that this was the correct time to formally object.
One person spoke up during the Public Hearing on the proposed city budget. Real Estate Agent George Dillingham stated that the 7 percent tax increase was not sustainable. He said that while the money may be needed for city projects, the council needs to consider taxpayers and that the continued increases would eventually make real estate in the city unaffordable.
The council voted to approve the $62 million budget for the city. The budget is $1.5 million higher than last year, due mostly to personnel costs. It also has increases for various improvement projects in the city. Goss again was the only dissenting vote on the budget.
In other action, the council voted to approve a grant application for Rifle-Resistant Body Armor. The grant would come from the Criminal Justice Division of the Office of the Governor. Police Chief Craig Goodman said that he is requesting
10 24 (corrected value via Chief Goodman) of the vests to supplement the 10 that the department already has. He stated that they would be used in high risk situations such as warrant arrests.