City Council approves budget, tax rate for upcoming fiscal year

The San Marcos City Council chamber at city hall, from left to right: Melissa Derrick, Saul Gonzales, Ed Mihalkanin, Mayor Jane Hughson, Mark Rockeymoore and Maxfield Baker

Star file photo

The San Marcos City Council voted to approve approve a new tax rate of 59.30 cents on each $100 of taxable property value at its regular meeting Sept. 16, 2020.

Carson Ganong, News Reporter

The San Marcos City Council voted on several resolutions and ordinances, including the budget and tax rate for the fiscal year at its regular Sept. 15 meeting.

Following a public hearing, the council voted to approve the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021, which totals $258,741,410. A detailed breakdown of the budget can be viewed on the city website.

The council also voted to approve the new tax rate of 59.30 cents on each $100 of taxable property value. This rate is 4.9% higher than the no new revenue tax rate of 56.50 cents. The no new revenue tax rate is the rate that effectively generates the same amount of revenue as the previous year. The 59.30 cents tax rate will generate 7.9% more revenue than last year, or $2.7 million.

Interim Chief of Police Bob Klett provided an update on the cite-and-release ordinance that went into effect May 31. The ordinance encourages the San Marcos Police Department to issue citations rather than making arrests for several low-level, nonviolent offenses such as driving with an invalid license and possessing marijuana under 4 ounces.

According to Klett, San Marcos has seen a 23% drop in index offenses this year but says it is difficult to determine how much of that is a result of the cite-and-release ordinance as opposed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council voted to approve a renewal of service with Texas Disposal Systems. Multiple councilmembers expressed a desire to consider other options; however, the city’s contract with Texas Disposal Systems expires at the end of September, and delaying the resolution would likely have left San Marcos without a waste disposal contract, so it ultimately voted in approval.

The council also voted to approve the San Marcos Transit Plan, which aims to coordinate San Marcos transit with Texas State’s Bobcat Shuttle system.

Councilmembers held a discussion about the ad hoc committee being created to review SMPD’s use of force policy. Applications for the committee are open to all San Marcos residents and close Sept. 30.

The council discussed a few other topics as well, including the relocation of the San Marcos Post Office and road closures connected to the West Hopkins Street project.

The San Marcos City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. over Zoom; the meeting can be viewed on its website. The agenda can be accessed through the Agenda Center on the City of San Marcos website.

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