Breckenridge Texan

City Commissioners approve new budget, tax rate at September meeting

City Commissioners approve new budget, tax rate at September meeting
September 16
09:43 2021

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

At their meeting last week, the Breckenridge City Commissioners voted to approve the new tax rate and budget for the upcoming year, before moving on to the regular business items on the agenda.

Budget and Tax Rate

Mayor Bob Sims opened a brief public hearing, but no citizens were in attendance to comment or ask questions about the tax rate and budget.

Breckenridge’s new city manager, Erika McComis, addressed the commissioners, explaining some of the changes that had been made to the budget since she came on board in late August. She said she worked with the staff to make sure the budget was balanced, removing several items from the budget, such as a new roof and carpet for the City offices, a mosquito machine and other items that were allocated in two different budget funds.

“I also want to reiterate that this budget has no raise for employees … probably 60 percent of our employees have not had a raise since January 2018,” she said. “So that’s one thing that we really need to look for over the next year. … We’ll be looking at the revenue about mid-year and possibly bringing that back to commission to consider. So every 1 percent (in salary increase for the City staff) would be about $24,000, every 1 percent of a raise. So just look for us to possibly bring that back to you about mid-year and look at that next.”

To see a complete copy of the budget report, click here.

Later on, during the meeting’s action items, the commissioners voted to approve the proposed budget, as well as the proposed tax rate.

The City set the 2021 property tax rate at $1.06 per $100 valuation. That is lower than last year’s tax rate, but because of increased property values, it is higher than the “no new revenue” tax rate. The “no new revenue” tax rate is the rate at which the City would raise the same amount of funds as it did in the previous year. According to the public notice posted by the City, the $1.06 rate will raise about $103,000 more than last year.

Police Department

Breckenridge Police Chief Bacel Cantrell and Dispatch Supervisor Morgan Taylor talked to the commission about new radio equipment, carpeting and office furniture the dispatch office will be receiving. Everything in the office is 10 years old and is worn out after being used 24 hours a day, seven days a week, they explained.

The radio equipment is being paid for by a grant that Stephens County received, and much of the furniture and other items for the office will be reimbursed by the West Texas Council of Governments.

Other business

The commissioners also voted to approve the following items:

  • Proposed budget for the Breckenridge Economic Development Corporation
  • New fee schedule for the City of Breckenridge
  • A resolution authorizing the city manager and the mayor to secure a line of credit to alleviate any possibility of a short term cash flow.
  • A resolution to pay Breckenridge police officers and firefighters while they’re on quarantine leave if they were exposed to COVID-19 while they were at work. The resolution means that they do not have to use their personal leave time while they are quarantined.

Breckenridge City Commissioner Rob Durham, left, comments on the new equipment and office furniture to be installed in the police department’s dispatch office. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Breckenridge Mayor Bob Sims and City Manager Erika McComis discuss the City Budget during the City Commission meeting on Sept. 7. The commissioners approved the proposed budget and tax rate for the upcoming year. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

 


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