Lubbock City Council Approves Budget Resolution with Proposed Increase for Property Tax Rate
Thursday night, the Lubbock City Council by a 4-3 vote approved a resolution that would provide a baseline for the property tax rate in the next fiscal year budget. The rate approved is a proposed property tax rate equal to the Rollback Rate. (editor's note: Rollback Rate definition: The rollback rate provides a municipality with approximately the same amount of tax revenue it spent the previous year for day-to-day operations, plus an extra 8% increase for those operations plus sufficient funds to pay debts in the coming year.)
The original proposed property tax rate was 0.53582 cents per $100 valuation. Council member Latrelle Joy made a motion to increase the proposed rate to the Rollback Rate of 0.56573 per $100 valuation. The motion was approved 4-3 with Mayor Glen Robertson and Council members Karen Gibson and Jeff Griffith dissenting.
Council members Jim Gerlt and Floyd Price both stated they were willing to start budget discussions with the higher rate, but would want a property tax rate that is more fiscally responsible when the final budget is passed.
A second vote was taken to approve the budget resolution with the increased property tax rate, and it was approved by the same 4-3 margin.
The effective rate for next year's city budget is $0.51213. The effective property tax rate is a calculated rate that will provide the City of Lubbock with about the same amount of revenue it received during the prior year. Both property tax rates discussed by the city council Thursday night would be tax increases.
Mayor Robertson voiced his concerns because he is hesitant to approve any type of tax increase, "My concern with the Rollback Rate, is to start spending the money because we know it is there we've got the capability to do it. It sounds like there is enough votes on the dais to get this done tonight, and that's good. I was struggling with the 0.53582 (property tax rate), and I'm struggling even more with this (higher rate), but I do have faith this council will work through the budget session and try to find a way to make sure we don't go to that ceiling."
Due to state law, the city council must hold two public hearings concerning the proposed property tax increase. Those hearings have been scheduled for August 27 at 5:30pm and September 2 at 12pm.
After the two public hearings, the city council is then allowed to schedule a meeting to vote upon next year's budget.