Lubbock City Council Approves 2014-2015 Fiscal Year Budget and Sets Propety Tax Rate Hike
The Lubbock City Council has approved a budget for the 2014-2015 Fiscal Year and also set a new property tax rate during their September 11 meeting.
Before approving and ratifying the budget, the council had to discuss many amendments to the budget in separate subsidiary motions. Mayor pro-tem Jim Gerlt introduced seven such amendments including one which decreased funds available for renovation of the Lubbock municipal court building from $725 thousand to $300 thousand. The council also voted to change Lubbock Power & Light’s budget by removing a 2.9 percent raise for all employees. Instead, like the rest of the city, only those slated for raises in a recent compensation study will receive them.
Initially, Mayor Glen Robertson announced that he could not vote for the budget but eventually did vote in favor. Council members made three motions with different stipulations for amendments to the budget, but all three failed. The budget passed in its fourth motion 4-3 with council members Joy, Hernandez and Gibson dissenting.
The budget passed in part, after new council member Jeff Griffith proposed last minute cuts – including money budgeted for City Hall repairs. A new property tax rate was set at 52.24 cents per $100 of property valuation which reflects a 5 percent increase but was lower than originally intended.
The council also voted to eliminate citizen comments at the end of meetings. Citizens will now be required to sign up 72 hours in advance to speak to council members on an issue not on the agenda.