GALVESTON, TX – September 17, 2020 – The Galveston City Council on Thursday voted unanimously to adopt a tax rate of 56 cents per $100 property valuation ($0.56) for property tax year 2020, a rate that is nearly 2 cents less than the current tax rate.
Council approval adopted a rate of $0.0525 for debt service and $0.5075 for maintenance and operations, which includes a $0.05 per $100 of taxable property value for Rosenberg Library.
No homesteading owner-occupant over 65 of a single-family home will see an increase in the taxes they pay, which will average $661 for city taxes.
City property taxes pay for important services, such as public safety and infrastructure. The budget represents the city’s priorities, including investments in water and street infrastructure, public safety, and improved drainage. The budget maintains 90 days of emergency funds within the reserves to cover all operating expenses.
The primary changes to this year’s budget are the result of salary increases for public safety personnel as agreed upon during last year’s collective bargaining agreements. Public safety personnel represent more than a third of the city’s workforce. The city’s overall workforce is six positions fewer than the previous year. All city workers will receive a cost-of-living salary adjustment. Like other areas of the economy, the City of Galveston has been affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, the city’s sales tax revenues have taken a hit, with sales tax revenues for this year at $15.5 million, $1.6 million under budget. Next year’s sales tax is estimated at $16.3 million, some $1.8 million less than a more normal economic year.
The City’s FY 2021-2025 Proposed Capital Improvement Plan provides for $85.1 million in water improvements, $35.7 million in street improvements, $58.2 million for sewer improvements and $69.5 million in drainage improvements. Of particular note, this includes having all projects funded by the May 2017 bond election under contract or completed within five years of the election, as promised. Also, this includes a pilot pump station along Harborside Drive to alleviate flooding.
All budget documents are available online at galvestontx.gov/financialtransparency