On first of two readings, Council approves tax rate
On Tuesday, the San Marcos City Council approved, on the first of two readings, a tax rate of 61.39 cents per $100 valuation that is not exempt from taxation for the 2019 tax year. Councilmembers voted for the new tax rate with the exception of Councilmember Lisa Prewitt, who voted against the proposed rate. A second public hearing to discuss the tax rate is scheduled for Sept. 3 during council’s regular meeting. After the second public hearing, council will approve the second reading of the tax rate ordinance on Sept. 17.
The previously adopted property tax rate was also 61.39 cents on each $100 of taxable value of real property. Though the proposed rate is the same as last year, if adopted, it will raise taxes by 7.97%, or by $45.30 for a $100,000 home, according to the ordinance.
The increase in rate comes from an increase in property valuations.
“This year we did see a higher increase on our base properties than we have over the past several years,” said Heather Hurlbert, director of finance for the City of San Marcos.
Councilmember Ed Mihalkanin said the City made a commitment to increasing revenue in order to deal with new bonds for renovations of the police department, library and fire stations.
“And so I know we made a commitment that we would make sure to increase that revenue to deal with the increased bond of debt, but I would really like us next year to look at the possibility of reducing the tax rate when we know the valuations are going to increase,” he said.
Councilmember Lisa Prewitt brought up the idea of discussing a senior tax exemption in San Marcos. The City does not offer senior tax exemptions, unlike SMCISD and Hays County. According to city staff, a discussion on this issue will take place at council’s second meeting in November.