The Katy City Council Tuesday night announced two public hearings for its proposed 2017-2018 city budget and the tax rate needed to fund it.
The first public hearing is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, September 21. The second public hearing is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, September 25, during the council’s regularly scheduled meeting.
Both meetings will take place at Katy City Hall, 901 Avenue C.
Two public hearings are required because the proposed 2017 tax rate, $0.486720 per $100 assessed property value, exceeds the 2017 effective tax rate of $0.469618 per $100.
The effective tax rate is the total tax rate needed to raise the same amount of property tax revenue for the city from the same properties in both the 2016 and 2017 tax years. The proposed rollback tax rate, $0.515101 per $100, is the highest tax rate that the city may adopt before voters can petition for an election to limit the rate that may be approved to the rollback rate.
In August 1 memo to the Mayor Chuck Brawner, city council members, and City Administrator Byron Hebert, Finance Director Becky Wilkins wrote that this year’s proposed budget finds the city “in a position of slow sales tax growth, which impacts the overall budget. The change in revenue stream for the parks department, coupled with a slowdown in fines and fee revenue, continue to be areas of concern. Residential and commercial growth within the City of Katy have boosted our economy and tax base, and have allowed us to keep pace with expenditures as we see slowdowns in other areas of the economy.”
At its September 25 meeting, the council is expected to adopt a budget and tax rate, and ratify any tax increase, should there be one.
Monday’s meeting also featured an extended public comments section, where ten speakers—the most in recent memory—took the podium to be heard. Brawner said that typically, speakers are asked to limit their remarks to no more than three minutes each. Given the events of recent days, Brawner said speakers could have up to five minutes each. Each speaker shared his or her own concerns about and experiences with the recent flooding caused by the recent hurricane.
Brawner described the hurricane’s effect on Katy as a once-in-a-lifetime event, even worse than the Tax Day Flood of April 2016, when 12-17 inches of rain poured over the Katy area.
“We always want to improve on what we do,” Brawner said of the city’s ongoing cleanup efforts. “We’re going to keep on keeping on. We’re plugging away at this.”
In other action Monday, the council approved a resolution authorizing Brawner to sign a purchase and license agreement with Xapus Solutions, LLC, for preservation and notification software.
In action taken at its August 31 meeting, the council:
- Approved a resolution authorizing Brawner to sign a contract with Republic Services to extend service three years for solid waste collection with an increase in rates. The $13.76 residential rate will increase to $15, a 9% increase. The $18.84 commercial rate will increase to $20.42, an 8% increase. Rates went into effect September 1. Brawner said Republic Services’ costs have increased, and it sought the increase, the first in three or four years. He said the city negotiated down from the original figure requested.
- Approved an event request for the Typhoon Texas Kids Triathlon. The event is set for May 20, 2018. The bike and run courses are on Katy Mills Circle and Katy Mills Drive.
- Accepted public improvements for Cane Island, section 21, for water, sanitary sewer, and storm sewer system and paving.
- Accepted public improvements for Cane Island, section 24, for water, sanitary sewer, and storm sewer system and paving.
- Approved acceptance of public improvements for West 10 Business Park for paving and appurtenances on Morris Oliver Way, Parkside Street and Buc-ee’s Blvd. street dedication.
- Approved a resolution awarding a bid and authorizing Brawner to sign an agreement with Colorado County Oil Company of Columbus, Texas, for contract delivery of gasoline and diesel fuel.
- Approved a resolution authorizing Brawner to sign an interlocal agreement between the City of Katy and Katy Development Authority for the Katy Hockley Cut-Off Road extension and the Waller County Mobility Plan.
- Approved a memorandum of understanding between KBH Ventures, LLC, and Katy Development Authority for the development of a hotel and conference center with parking facilities.
- Approved a resolution authorizing use of reserve funds to pre-fund the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant in an amount up to $884,424 for salaries, benefits, and equipment for new employees hired under the grant.
- Approved a resolution authorizing Brawner to sign an agreement with Parkside–Stratford/I-10 Ltd. for the development of approximately 42.83 acres.
- Approved a resolution authorizing Brawner to execute a tax abatement with PME Oakmont West 10, LLC, for the development of approximately 42.83 acres.
- Approved a resolution authorizing Brawner to execute a quit claim deed to Kickerillo Companies for property located at 851 Dominion Dr. in Houston.
- Approved an ordinance that amends and replaces the previously existing building regulations for streets and sidewalks.
- Approved an ordinance changing a portion of Franz Road to Franz Court. The portion runs from Avenue D to Cane Island Branch.