Proposed budget

Greenville’s proposed city budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year will be formally presented during the city council’s work session at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Greenville’s proposed city budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year will be formally presented during the city council’s work session at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Related to the budget is the proposed city tax rate, for which public hearings are planned for the Aug. 27 and Sept. 10 Greenville City Council meetings. At those hearings, residents will have an opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns about the proposed rate.

According to the agenda for Tuesday’s city council meeting, the current proposed property tax rate for 2019-20 is about 68.2 cents for every $100 that a property is worth.

This is a three cent increase compared to the current property tax rate of 65.2 cents per $100 valuation.

The council plans to vote on the proposed tax rate and budget on Sept. 24, and if approved, the amount in local taxes that a resident would pay on a $114,500 house (the average taxable value of a home in Greenville) would be about $780.90.

The proposed property tax rate of 68.2 cents per $100 valuation is also more than eight and a half cents higher than the effective tax rate of 59.67 cents, according to the Hunt County Tax Office.

The effective rate is a hypothetical property tax rate that’s often used for reference. It is calculated by dividing last year’s total in property taxes by this year’s total in property tax value.

The fact that the proposed property tax rate is higher than the effective rate is likely to spark serious debate between council members over the next few weeks as many of them have – over the past several months – repeatedly recommended keeping the city tax rate below the effective rate.

Part of the reason why councilmen Jerry Ransom and Brent Money, in particular, have advised keeping the tax rate below the effective rate is because the council, when they approved the budget for 2018-19, set the tax rate below the effective rate for the first time in 30 years.

At 65.2 cents per $100 valuation, the approved rate for 2018-19 was half a cent lower than what the effective rate was at the time – 65.7 cents.

Also at Tuesday’s Greenville City Council meeting, dates for public hearings about the tax rate and the budget as well as the council’s final vote on both items will be officially set. The planned dates for the hearings and the votes are as follows:

Aug. 13 – The proposed budget will be formally presented to the council.

Aug. 27 – Residents will be able to comment on the proposed property tax rate in the first public hearing about the tax rate.

Sept. 10 – Residents will have a second chance to comment on the proposed property tax rate in a second public hearing about the tax rate, and will also be able to comment on the proposed budget during the first public hearing about the budget.

Sept. 24 – Residents will have a second chance to comment on the proposed budget in a second public hearing about the budget, and the council plans to have their final discussion and vote on both the city property tax rate and the 2019-20 budget.

Tuesday’s Greenville City Council Meeting will be inside the council chambers of the Greenville Municipal Building at 2821 Washington St.

The work session, which is when the 2019-20 budget will be presented by City Manager Summer Spurlock, will be at 4:30 p.m., with the regular session beginning at 6 p.m.

Travis Hairgrove is a news reporter and features writer at the Herald-Banner and covers city government for many municipalities in Hunt County. To reach him outside of business hours, email THairgroveReporter@gmail.com.