A Del Rio resident on Tuesday asked the city council to reconsider its proposal to raise the city’s property tax rate.
Daniel Schreiber, Del Rio’s unofficial meteorologist and owner and operator of SmallTown Weather, spoke to the city council Tuesday during its first public hearing on the proposed city property tax rate increase.
“I’m not here to complain. I’m here to tell you I shouldn’t be paying an extra $20 on my property tax bill,” Schreiber told the council.
He said for a short time he was an employee of the city, adding, “I know that we’re raising the property tax a little bit, and I understand that the city has some financial needs.”
Schreiber pointed out the local public school district recently lowered its property tax rate and the county decided to keep its property tax rate the same. He added county officials announced they were able to keep the county tax rate the same and still purchase a $6 million property near the air force base.
“They credit that to the local influx in jobs with the pipeline and increased sales tax and all of that, and I’m just kind of curious, where has that money gone for the city? The county is seeing all this new tax revenue. What is the city doing with that?” Schreiber asked.
He told the council that according to the appraisal district, the value of his house went up 4 percent this year, and Schreiber said when he went to the appraisal district to discuss with them some other issues, he was greeted by a staff member “who just assumed I was there to protest” the increase in his home’s value.
Schreiber said when he asked why people are protesting, an appraisal district staffer told him, “A lot of the houses, the properties have gone up in value.”
“So just out of curiosity, I looked at – and they told me it was a lot of the more inexpensive housing that really went up in value – a random house on East Garza Street near the San Felipe Fire Station, and it had gone up 18 percent in property value this year,” Schreiber said.
“So before you vote on an increased tax for the city, I just ask you to look at the increase that we’ve seen in the tax base of the city and what we’re expecting with the increase of the property values for the city,” he added.
Schreiber again asked the council to look and see where the increased revenues from the sales tax have been allocated in next year’s city budget.
City council members took no action following Schreiber’s presentation.
The council will hold a second public hearing on the planned tax increase during its meeting Tuesday, which is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall, 109 W. Broadway St.