Bellaire city council adopts 2019 budget, ratifies tax increase
The Bellaire city council voted unanimously Sept. 17 to adopt the city’s fiscal year 2019 budget and ratify a property tax increase.
The $20.94 million budget for Oct. 1, 2018, through Sept. 30, 2019, is up from the 2018 budget of $20.78 million.
Council also ratified a adopted property tax rate increase from $0.4159 to $0.4313 per every $100 in assessed value.
Bellaire Chief Financial Officer Terrence Beaman said the increase was a result mostly of a debt increase but also of property values in the city going down.
He said laws require that a city calculates both an adopted tax rate and an effective tax rate.
“The goal of the effective rate is to allow a city to collect the same amount of revenues for the same properties as in the prior year,” Beaman said. “That means city services provided from the previous year are funded at the same level of a city adopts an effective rate or lower. Fortunate for the city of Bellaire, we were able to adopt a tax rate that is actually lower than the effective rate as that rate will generate enough revenue to fund operations in the general fund for the upcoming budget year as well as pay for all city’s obligated debt for the upcoming year.”
Manager Paul Hofmann said the city is on a good track with the budget and that Bellaire will apply more funding this year to flood control efforts.
“We’ll be fine with this budget. We’ll concentrate on studying the north and south drainage systems in Bellaire and working collaboratively with Harris County Flood Control on significant long term improvements,” he said. “The greatest change is the extent to which we are shifting focus away from parks improvements to more fully studying how to improve drainage in Bellaire.”