KEMPNER — The city’s proposed 2014 fiscal year budget is anticipating an increase in expenses by about 15 percent, or almost $50,000, for a town of about 1,100 residents.
Projected revenue for all city funds is $340,128 while expenses are estimated at $334,592.
Those funds include the city’s debt services, which are budgeted at $43,113.
Increases in the budget include hiring a part-time police officer, allocating money for future infrastructure projects and adjusting city employee salaries, Mayor Gene Isenhour said.
“We have a little more salary there,” he said, adding, “The cost of doing business also keeps going up.”
The city is proposing a property tax rate increase to 23.4959 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation — its effective tax rate. Since the rate will generate the same revenue as this year’s tax rate of 22.73 cents, the city doesn’t have to claim the larger rate as a tax increase.
“It is about three-quarters of a cent (more),” Isenhour said. “The property values stayed about the same. It will be a slight increase (to residents) but hardly noticeable.”
Isenhour said the budget was more conservative than previous years, and even with a higher tax rate, the city is being fiscally responsible with residents’ money.
“This property tax rate is lower than when we incorporated (in 1997),” he said. “I think (the budget) is a lot closer to reality as far as expenditures go. We have a good fund balance. We have about 8½ months saved for operations.”
Kempner will hold a public hearing about the proposed budget at 7 p.m. Aug. 29. The council will adopt the budget and tax rate at 7 p.m. Sept. 10.