• December 21, 2014

Harker Heights public hearing on budget, tax rate generates no comments from residents

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Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 11:45 pm

HARKER HEIGHTS — No residents spoke for or against Harker Heights’ proposed tax rate and budget during a public meeting on the matter Tuesday.

With a few changes made to the proposed budget, city officials intend to keep the same tax rate of 67.7 cents per $100 valuation as with past years.

Overall expenditures for the fiscal year 2015 budget are estimated at $18.97 million, leaving a fund balance of $8.38 million, City Finance Director Alberta Barrett said.

The budget also leaves a three-month balance for operating expenses of $4.64 million.

Councilman John Reider said during his tenure with the city, he’s seen the tax rate dropped more than it’s ever been increased.

“The city staff and employees of the city have done an incredible job — I mean absolutely incredible — considering the economic situation we’ve been in through the years with our bond rate going up at times and cities were going broke,” Reider said.

Barrett said helping maintain the tax rate are certified values of $1.59 billion, of which $7.94 million generated from taxes will be used for maintenance and operation, and $2.46 million will be used to pay principle and interest on debt. Capital improvement revenues are $13.87 million. “The majority of that revenue is from our certificates of obligation.”

Capital improvement expenditures are budgeted at $13.44 million to spend the funds for specific projects they’re designated for, she said.

Barrett said changes to the budget since it was proposed include an additional $48,200 to salaries and benefits, which brings the total to $13.61 million.

A $5,000 request from the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce was granted, along with increasing economic development expenses by $7,500 for a total of $12,500 and allocating $5,000 to the Greater Killeen Free Clinic. Barrett said no rate increases are proposed to the utility or sanitation funds.

Council members are scheduled to adopt the budget Sept. 9.

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