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BC proposes slight increase in tax rate

City officials will hold a public hearing during Tuesday’s council meeting to hear citizen comments on the potential increase in the city tax rate.

The City of Bridge City will hold a council meeting at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 18, at City Hall, 260 Rachal in Bridge City, for its next regularly scheduled meeting. Among the topics on the agenda are public hearings to hear citizen comments on the newly proposed ad valorem tax rate and the proposed city budget for 2015-2016.

According to information from the City of Bridge City, a new rate of $0.49920 per $100 valuation is being proposed for the coming fiscal year. This tax rate is an increase of more than 2-cents over the current tax rate of $0.47807 per $100 valuation.

“The valuations were a little lower than anticipated for the coming year in Bridge City,” said Jerry Jones, city manager of Bridge City. “But the tax rate is roughly the same, and it’s still below the rollback rate of $0.50013 cents. We are trying to keep it as low as we can.”

The proposed budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year is slightly more than $7.4 million or an increase of approximately $236,000 over the previous year’s budget.

Jones said the budget increase will cover the typical increases to services such as electricity, fuel and insurance costs to the city for its employees. Also, the slight increase will help cover a 3 percent increase in salaries for all city employees.

“The only capital purchase we have budgeted is one police car,” Jones added. “There are no capital outlay items. We just need to increase the general fund and the reserves for the city. It really is a bare bones budget.”

A second hearing on the proposed ad valorem tax rate will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 1.