• September 19, 2020

Council to finalize tax rates - Odessa American: City Of Odessa

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Council to finalize tax rates

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Posted: Monday, September 14, 2020 1:33 pm

The Odessa City Council will vote on six items during Tuesday’s in-person work session including final votes to increase water, sewer, solid waste and tax rates.

The work session will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday in-person in the Devonian l and ll Room at the Odessa Marriott and Conference Center located at 305 East Fifth St.

While council will discuss nine items and also convene in executive session, they will also vote to finalize changes to sewer, water, solid waste and levying the tax for the 2020 tax year and 2020-21 Fiscal Year.

Council voted on the first approval of rate changes during a virtual council meeting on September eighth.

The ordinance to raise water, sewer and solid waste would up rates by 2.5 percent.

Assistant City Manager of Administrative Services Cindy Muncy said during a previous meeting that, “The water and sewer rates are being increased to allow for us to increase our repair and replacement of our deteriorating water and sewer lines.”

A chart detailing water usage showed that while a 2,000 gallon a month user currently pays $51.62, that would be increased to $52.91 with the rate change.

Council will also vote on the second and final vote to levy the tax rate to $0.477115 cents per $100 property valuation for municipal maintenance, operations and debt service. The current tax rate is $0.476601.

Although the city is reporting this as the “No New Revenue” rate, it is the effective tax rate that includes added amounts from higher appraisals and new property.

A previous OA article detailed that many in Odessa have reported tax appraisals coming in at 8 to 12 percent higher than they were last year. A higher appraisal means higher taxes if the city doesn’t drop the tax rate to bring in the same amount as they did last year.

Odessa Director of Communications Devin Sanchez detailed in an email that because the water, sewer, solid waste and tax rate changes are all second vote items and the tax rate had to have afinal vote seven days after the first vote, it, “was easiest to just take all of the budget items at that time (Tuesday) for final vote.”

Sanchez also wrote that council is transitioning back to in-person meetings and decisions whether to meet in person will be decided on a case by case basis according to what is on the agenda.

“We figured we would have citizen turnout because of the rate increase so this gives them an easier venue to come voice their opinions,” she said.

Council will also vote on amending the water conservation and drought contingency plan and purchasing public safety replacement laptops and equipment for $268,723 during the work session because, “they are trying to get them pushed through to meet a deadline,” Sanchez wrote.

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