City to hold hearing into tax rate

HARLINGEN — Residents will have an opportunity to speak up about the tax rate.

As part of its proposed $43.6 million general fund budget, the city tomorrow will hold the first of two public hearings into its proposed property tax rate of 58 cents per $100 valuation.

For eight years, the city has stood by that tax rate.

That’s because every year new growth generates additional revenue to pay for the rising cost of services.

Last year, new construction was projected to help the tax rate generate an additional $418,000 in revenue.

This year, the tax rate is estimated to produce a total of $14 million, Deputy Finance Director Sergio Villasana stated.

During the upcoming fiscal year, the tax rate is projected to generate $14.7 million.

“That means our property tax base has grown,” Mayor Chris Boswell said yesterday.

“As the property tax base grows, when you multiply that number by the base, it produces a larger sum,” he said. “New construction, new improvements add to the tax base — new businesses, new houses, new commercial buildings.”

The city’s tax rate has remained steady at 58 cents since 2010, when it was lowered from 59 cents.

In 2002, the city raised its tax rate from 54.1 cents to 57.9 cents.

Two years later, the commission cut the rate from about 59 cents to 58 cents.