Thursday Lubbock city leaders voted to lower the tax rate and adopt a new city budget, which ironically became a controversy.
The vote lowered the tax rate by about 0.85 of one cent. While it may not seem like a lot, Mayor Tom Martin says it saves tax payers almost $900,000. But, Martin admits the new budget comes with a downfall. The downfall is that city employees will not receive a raise.
Members Floyd Price and Linda Deleon voted against the budget. Then, in an unusual move Deleon spoke out - not from the dais, but as a citizen from the floor.
Deleon says, "Diane, my neighborhoods code enforcement officer is praised every month at our neighborhood meetings for going beyond the call of duty. That is why I stand before you today to ask, for Diane's sake and all the employees which are our neighbors, they deserve a raise."
The mayor sees it differently. Martin says, "We'd much rather be conservative now and be able to give raises if it comes in higher than we expect, than expect it to be high and give raises now, and then end up having to cut positions." But Martin also says raises are not out of the question later on in the year.
He tells NewsChannel 11 if sales tax revenue is above expectations after the Christmas holiday, they'll be able to provide employee raises.
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