Lubbock city council to hear from public on tax increase - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock city council to hear from public on tax increase

By Ann Wyatt Little - bio | email

Lubbock, TX (KCBD) - Taxes in Lubbock will go up next year, but just how much is the question facing the Lubbock city council. Voters approved the hike to pay for projects passed in the 2009 bond election, but timing is the issue.

The $.03425 cent increase will pay for the bonds voters approved in 2009 but council must decide whether to raise taxes all in one year or spread it out over two.

"Some council members want to raise the tax rate $ 0.01 cent then come back next year with another increase of the difference. I don't agree with it. Increase it $0.03425 cents one time and be done with it," said Mayor Tom Martin. To foot the bill for the next fiscal year, only a one cent increase is needed.

"By raising it once it generates $2.5 million needed for projects and several of these need to be done and can't be put off," added Martin. The projects include improving foundations to two fire stations and tearing down sub-standard homes across the city.

There is the possibility some of the money approved by voters will pay for those maintenance projects that taxpayers did not get a chance to vote on which has watchdog Mikel Ward concerned.

"I think we need to stick with one cent. If we expect people to have any trust in what we are doing let's do what we said we were going to do," said Ward who adds for one waiting one year will make a difference for some people.

"We feel like council has made good decisions in the past," said Joe Rapier, president of the Lubbock chamber of commerce board. "We have not taken a poll, but our position would be, I suspect, only to use tax money you need for one time but don't mix bond debt financing with other projects.

Mayor Martin says the total increase for a person who owns a $100,000 home would be around $30. Thursday morning is the final public hearing about the decision facing council. It starts at 7:30 a.m. at city hall.

Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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