City council members Tuesday received the proposed 2019-2020 city budget, which includes a one-and-a-half cent increase in the property tax rate.
Del Rio City Council members received the budget after City Tax Assessor Collector Alma Venegas reviewed with them the 2019 tax planning calendar and the 2019 certified appraised values, on which the city property taxes are collected.
Venegas told the council the certified appraisal roll was presented to the city by the Val Verde County Appraisal District.
“The most important thing we look at when we receive this tax roll is whether there was an increase or decrease in the net taxable value. This year, there was a 5.2 percent increase in the net taxable value compared to last year’s value,” Venegas said.
The tax assessor collector also submitted the 2019 effective, rollback and sales tax adjustment rates, the 2018 excess debt collection report and the 2019 estimated debt collection rate.
After Venegas finished, City Manager Matt Wojnowski told council members he hoped to do a presentation on the budget on Aug. 13 and suggested the council hold a budget workshop Aug. 20.
Councilwoman Diana Bejarano Salgado said next year, she would like to see the council have a retreat or extended workshop to discuss budget priorities.
“I would like the council to sit down with administration so we can plan and prepare for some of the things that we would like to see in the budget . . . The budget that’s presented to us and has been presented every year that I’ve been on this council has been what administration has worked on, not what our constituents have told us that they would like to see, so for next year, I would like to see this happen,” Salgado said.
“I think that’s a wonderful idea and would benefit the staff and the council,” Wojnowski said.
On a question from Councilman Rowland Garza, Wojnowksi said the budget as presented does not include any of the unfunded requests that had been reviewed by the council at a recent meeting, but does include raises in employees’ pay to a minimum of $10 per hour and a 1 percent cost of living adjustment.
The budget is built in part on a proposed 2019 proposed tax rate of 0.7309. The 2018 adopted tax rate was 0.7151.
“How much wiggle room do we have to contemplate things in those budget workshops if we want to add anything (to the budget),” Garza asked.
“Virtually no wiggle room. We’d have to find where to cut if we want to add (anything),” Wojnowski replied.
The council will review the budget again during a meeting on Aug. 13.