Katy City Council approves budget and tax rate at Sept. 28 meeting

By R. Hans Miller | News Editor
Posted 9/28/20

Katy City Council approved the 2020 tax rate and 2020-21 budget during its Monday afternoon meeting. The combined debt tax rate and maintenance and operations tax rate establish a total property tax …

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Katy City Council approves budget and tax rate at Sept. 28 meeting

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Katy City Council approved the 2020 tax rate and 2020-21 budget during its Monday afternoon meeting. The combined debt tax rate and maintenance and operations tax rate establish a total property tax rate of $0.447168 per $100 valuation for the city.

“(Mayor Bill Hastings) has done a great job getting a balanced budget in a very difficult time and actually lowering the taxes of people, and I know that you put out the word back when this process started that you were going to have a balanced budget that was not going to increase taxes and I know that a lot of folks worked on it – this council worked on it – and we have delivered for the people here tonight,” said Council Member Frank Carroll III.

Individually, the debt tax rate was set at $0.082227 per $100 valuation and the maintenance and operation tax rate was set at $0.364941 per $100 which add together to establish the $0.447168 rate. The new combined rate is a decrease of $0.0.2832 per $100 valuation and is expected to save the average homeowner in the city about $48 on their tax bill, according to city documents. That savings is about 3.75% which brings the average property tax bill for the city down from $1,280 last year to $1,232 this year prior to bringing county, utility district or school district property taxes into calculations.

Katy City Council also voted unanimously to approve the municipality’s 2020-21 budget. The balanced budget shows total revenues and expenditures of about $32 million.

The top two revenue sources are property taxes at about $13.6 million and property taxes at roughly $13.1 million. The next largest income source for the city is service charges which come out to roughly $2.5 million, then licensing and permitting revenue at $1.2 million. The remaining three revenue categories were fines and forfeitures at $687,000, then grants and interest earned at $282,000 and $222,200 respectively.

The chief expenditures Katy’s new budget lists are the police and fire departments. Policing comes in at about $10.1 million, an increase from last year’s roughly $9.9 million. Meanwhile, the KFD expenditures come out to about $6.84 million – also an increase from last year’s $6.78 million. Council members and city council candidates have all said that those two line items in the budget are important to keep residents safe and support them being a priority. Other cities in Texas such as Austin have been criticized for reducing police funding, with Tex. Gov. Greg Abbott considering having the state take over the Austin Police Department due to recent budget cuts.

Streets are the next big-ticket item for the city with about $2.6 million going out for maintenance and construction of streets in the city, according to the budget. Debt service expenditures – paying down bonds and related expenses the city has incurred – account for about $2.1 million.

Four other line items come in at over $1 million. SAFER grant expenditures come in at about $1.3 million; permits and inspection costs at roughly $1.7 million; sanitation at $1.2 million; and administration at around $1.2 million. All other expenditures were under $1 million and the city’s budget is posted online via Katy’s financial transparency page.

Katy City Council also approved:

  • Spending $29,550 of the city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax funds to repair historical historic buildings in the city. HOT funds may only be spent for tourism development and maintenance of associated items.
  • Awarding a contract to Huitt-Zollars, Inc. to design drainage improvements for Fortuna Street.
  • Awarding two engineering jobs to Costello, Inc. for engineering for two improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment facility which would make it less susceptible to storm water damage.
  • Contracts totaling about $187,000 for replacement of sanitary sewer lines along Roberts Road.
  • Issuance of $4.02 million in road bonds for projects near the Village at Katy subdivision.
  • A telecom agreement with Motorola for software updates and support for the Katy Fire Department.

An agreement with IDEMIA Identity & Security USA, LLC for maintenance of KPD equipment.

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