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By Jackie Zimmerman/The Red River Sun—
CHILDRESS – Projecting a $50,000 shortfall, the Childress City Council is proposing a property tax rate of .807 in order to balance the 2020-21 budget.
Following budget and tax rate discussions at the Aug. 10 meeting, the council voted on the rate, which is lower than 2019’s rate of .0833488 cents per $100 valuation, but it is expected to bring in more funds as the average homestead taxable value per home has increased.
The council will hold a public hearing on the proposed tax rate at 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 24, at the Mashburn Event Center Expo Center at 1100 7th St.
The .807 cents per $100 property valuation equates to an additional $807 dollars in taxes per year on a home that is valued at $100,000, according to City Manager Kevin Hodges. The rate falls below the voter approved top tax rate of .8070542.
During budget discussions, City Manager Kevin Hodges said he made some revisions to the budget following the council’s first budget workshop. He cut two positions, one from the water department that had been frozen since 2017 and the other from the golf course.
In all, Hodges said administration was able to reduce the deficit from its original $600,000 down to a little more than $50,000.
There are two unfilled positions, one each in the fire and police departments, that will remain in the budget. The positions, which together total about $97,000 in pay annually, are funded but frozen, meaning they won’t be filled right now. The council agreed with Hodges that the positions need to be funded in case either department experiences health issues, especially with COVID-19, among the employees and become shorthanded.
Further information on the tax rate can be found in the city’s notice in this week’s newspaper.
In other business, the council agreed to the request for a cemetery plot for prior City Manager David Galligan. The council, not having any written documentation of the agreement to provide the plot, said this is a one-time agreement. A motion to approve the request for the plot and included that if anyone else with the city thinks they have an agreement made in the past with the city to come forward. They council stated anyone with an agreement needs to come forward before the end of the year.