It is time to set the annual tax rate for the city. From the agenda for tomorrow night’s City of Shoreacres City Council meeting:
8.3 Consideration, discussion, and action to propose a property tax rate that exceeds the effective tax rate. [Webber]
8.4 Consideration and action to schedule Public Hearings on the property tax rate increase. [Webber]
As I’ve mentioned several times, our city’s property tax rate is the highest in the area, by far. Here is a quick chart of the surrounding cities:
The number in red is the premium that you and I pay to live here.
The language in the two agenda items above is standard and doesn’t necessarily indicate that Mayor Webber wants to raise taxes. But miss this meeting at your pocketbook’s peril.
For a good understanding of tax rates, effective tax rates, and the rollback rate, click here to read Comptroller Susan Combs’ primer on the subject. The “Effective Tax Rate” mentioned in the agenda item above is a way for politicians to increase revenue without saying they raised taxes. In fact, they can go 7.99999% above that rate without hitting the “rollback rate”, which would require an election. Add that to the almost certainty that the Harris County Appraisal District will be increasing your appraisals next year and you can see the problem. Again, that agenda language is standard and you won’t know what the intent is unless you attend the meeting tomorrow night.
Also, council held a special meeting last week and passed an ordinance to hire a temporary police chief. Interesting that the City Administrator doesn’t send out notices for special meetings – you have to drive to City Hall and check the bulletin board, which I didn’t do, so I didn’t know about it. Oh well.
It looks like they were successful in removing the police chief – his name is no longer on the city website. Sucks to be on the “outside” I guess.