City Council to propose reduced effective tax rate
by Gary Kent
Aug 24, 2014 | 1509 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE – City Council members took the first steps toward adopting the effective tax rate on property within the city limits when they met at City Hall Tuesday evening, Aug. 12.

Interim City Finance Director Sandy Clarkson told the council that the effective rate should be enough to bring in all the money needed next year to pay maintenance and operation costs as well as debt service requirements.

That rate, Clarkson said, would be $0.5323 per $100 of assessed value.

Councilman John Fulghum made the motion to make that the proposed tax rate for the city’s ad valorem taxes and the motion passed unanimously.

Clarkson told the council before the vote that proposing the effective rate would actually reduce the total tax rate on property by “a minute amount.”

The council then voted to hold a public hearing on the 2015 proposed tax rate and on the budget for the upcoming fiscal year at its Aug. 26 meeting and to schedule the adoption of the final tax rate for that year at its Sept. 23 meeting.

In other business the council voted to:

— Postpone an agenda item calling for Mayor David Carabajal to appoint new members to the Beeville Housing Authority Board because the mayor could not be at the meeting.

— Approve an agreement with Coastal Bend College, contingent on the school agreeing to two changes recommended by City Attorney Frank Warner.

The college wants to use the city’s junior baseball field at Veterans Memorial Park until its baseball facilities are upgraded.

The agreement will allow CBC to use the field between Aug. 20 and Dec. 20.

— Authorize the engagement of Frost Capital Markets as the city’s financial adviser after Victor Quiroga Jr. announced that he had moved from South Securities to the other company.

Quiroga has been the city’s finance director since 2001 when the previous finance director, Steve Elliott, retired.

City Manager Jack Hamlett recommended the change, saying Quiroga had helped the city maintain its good bond rating in recent months.

“He certainly has stayed on top,” Hamlett said of the job Quiroga has done.

Quiroga explained that the most recent contract the city had with Southwest Securities had expired in 2012 and the city no longer had any obligations with that company.

The new contract with Frost is a non-biding agreement that can be terminated without problems.

Warner told council members it would be all right for them to approve the new agreement contingent on his final review.

— Support an application from the Diez y Seis de Septiembre Celebration to the Texas Department of Transportation for posting a temporary sign on a state-controlled highway advertising the event.

— Approve an extended easement on city-owned property on Mussett Street for American Electric Power. The company is upgrading its equipment at that location and it needs a larger easement.

— Accept the recent report on the tax roll within the city’s jurisdiction for 2014. The roll was prepared by Bee County Tax Assessor Linda Bridge.

Earlier in the session, council members called two public hearings on proposed annexations of properties east of the city that have asked to be annexed.

No one spoke at either hearing.

Council members also heard a report from Joe Barnhart Library Director Cynthia Morrison.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5220, or at
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