Brownwood City Council approves proposed tax rate of $0.6995, up more than 3 cents


During Tuesday’s budget workshop, the Brownwood City Council proposed a property tax rate of $0.6995 per $100 valuation for the 2024-25 fiscal year, up more than three cents from $0.6659 from the current fiscal year.

Meanwhile, the proposed budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year is $45,615,217, an increase of 7.75% from the current $42,334,148 budget.

Part of the reason for the increases is due to the 3.25% inflation rate, which City Manager Emily Crawford informed the City Council is the lowest rate in the last three years. Also, maintenance to City equipment and new purchases and projects contribute to the rises as well.

American Rescue Plan Act funds are also not figured into the 2024-25 fiscal year budget as all that money must be allocated by Dec. 31, 2024 and the projects must be completed by Dec. 31, 2026.

Other highlights of the budget workshop included a potential $5.69 increase on current monthly water bills, which follows a $5.86 increase on water bills for the 2023-24 fiscal year.

The cost for water would climb from $30.68 to $31.45, or 1 percent, while the sewer fee would swell from $31.28 to $34.72, or 11 percent, and sanitation would feature a 6 percent increase from $24.68 to $26.06.

Water rates by the Brown County Water Improvement District have not yet been determined, which will likely further affect the final projections.

A discussion was also held on the future of sanitation within the City. While not expected to take place in the upcoming fiscal year, modifications that could potentially be made include reducing waste pickup to once a week, or creating an ordinance to have waste receptacles taken off the street if there is no need for a second pickup in the same week.

The reasoning behind this is to reduce wear and tear on the sanitation trucks and prevent the need for purchasing additional sanitation trucks, which currently cost $478,000 each, and hiring additional drivers.

Other budget workshop highlights included an increase in the cost the City pays for insurance by $178,854 for the year, a 3.5% cost of living increase for employees, and a change in the retirement plan for some departments could net the City a savings of $236,615 in the coming fiscal year.

The new event center is also expected to bring in $150,000 in revenue that was not part of previous budgets.