COPPERAS COVE — Council members heard only one complaint about the city’s proposed 2012-13 fiscal year budget and property tax rate during two public hearings, the last of which was Tuesday.
“I am against the changes because of what they leave out — relief for the library,” said Peggy Fleet, a former Copperas Cove library director who lives in Kempner. “You are going to reduce a service that does outreach for the residents you are wanting to attract.”
Fleet, speaking against the proposed budget, said the city’s monetary plan cuts more than 10 percent of the library funds for staffing and it is not comparable to other departments’ salary losses during the same year.
It is just the library’s turn to operate with a tight staff, said City Manager Andrea Gardner after the meeting. Other departments in past years also have seen such cuts, holding positions unfunded for a year or more.
“To make such an adjustment downward doesn’t seem right,” said Fleet.
Fleet said she expected the cut in employees — about two positions caused by attrition or transfers — would affect the library’s services.
“I will be the first to come back to the council if we find it sacrifices services,” said Gardner.
No one spoke during the public hearing about the city’s proposed property tax rate of 76 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation.
The proposed 2012-13 fiscal year tax rate is 0.36 cents lower than the current rate, but it will generate about $128,000 more, bringing the city’s total revenue to about $8.9 million.
Of the proposed tax rate, 19.11 cents per $100 of property valuation will provide about $2.1 million to pay down the city’s debt.
Even with the lower rate, the owner of the average Copperas Cove house — $97,390 — would pay about $5 more in taxes.
The council will make a final decision on the tax rate at 6 p.m. Tuesday.