Sugar Land sets tax rate for $260 million budget

sugar-land-town-squareCouncil to vote Sept. 20

By Joe Southern

jsouthern@fortbendstar.com

The Sugar Land City Council will vote Sept. 20 to keep the city’s tax rate at $.31595, the same as last year, which will raise taxes 3.57 percent due to increased property tax values.

According to Jennifer Brown, the city’s finance director, the average Sugar Land homeowner will see a $36 increase in their tax bill.

“Based on an average home value in 2015 of $351,000, growing our valuation to get to the average taxable value increase of 3.57 percent, we would have an average home value increase of 5.87 percent,” she said during a public hearing Sept. 6 in council chambers. “The homestead exemption increase from 8 to 10 percent, which is a 32 percent increase in the exempt value amount, and that gives us a taxable value of $334,551. That is a 3.57 percent increase. Applying the same tax rate is an increase of $36 in the tax bill from 2015 to 2016.”

Brown made her remarks during the second of two public hearings on the proposed budget at the council’s Sept. 6 meeting. No one from the public came forward to comment on the tax rate. After the public hearing closed, the council voted unanimously to place passage of the 2017 tax rate on the Sept. 20 meeting agenda.

The tax rate is designed to fund the proposed $260.4 million budget for 2016-2017.

“Based on the priorities addressed identified and discussed above, the FY17 proposed budget totals $260.4 million. Of the total, $186.0 million is for operations and $74.4 million is for capital projects,” City Manager Allen Bogard said in his original budget proposal made in July.

The effective tax rate is $.30454 per $100 of valuation and the rollback tax rate is $.32748. The homestead exemption is 10 percent of the assessed value and there is a $70,000 exemption for persons over 65 and those with disabilities.

The proposed budget, which has been through five public workshops this summer, has $78.3 million in the general fund, has a debt service of $24.1 million and capital projects of $74.4 million. Total operating funds are $186 million.

More information about the budget and tax rate can be found on the city’s website at www.sugarlandtx.gov.

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