City of Lubbock proposes lower property tax rate as building permits top $1.7 billion

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 9:27 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Lubbock City Council began a series of work sessions Monday to review the proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which includes a lower property tax rate that will still generate more than $4 million in new revenue for the growing and more valuable city.

“There have been building permits taken out in Lubbock totaling $1.71 billion dollars,” City Manager Jarrett Atkinson told the council about the current fiscal year. “That still leaves July, August and September. We’ve never crossed a billion in a year. We crossed a billion in just three quarters of the current year.”

The taxable revenue in Lubbock grew by $2.7 billion over last year, according to the budget presentation. The total taxable revenue in Lubbock is $23.6 billion.

“We had a tremendous amount of revenue that came on the rolls this year,” Atkinson said.

The city’s budget calls for a four cent decrease in the property tax rate. It would be 48.323 cents per $100 valuation. The city would still collect $4.7 million more revenue than last year, with $3 million of that from new property.

The average single family residential home saw its taxable value increase from $168,814 to $191,081 in the past year. The owner would pay $40 more in City of Lubbock taxes, a total of $923.

Property tax is just one source of revenue for the city budget. City leaders are also encouraged by rising sales tax revenue, which is expected to total more than $90 million for next year’s budget.

“Bottom line, the proposed budget is $1,026,141,” Atkinson said. “All in, a 6.3 percent increase, about $60.5 million.”

According to the presentation, a theme of the budget is, “maintaining services and improving efficiencies amidst economic uncertainty.”

Atkinson said most of the increase in general expenditures would be investing in employees and dealing with inflation. He told the council that inflation was impacting every aspect of city operations, that fleet costs and sustainability were challenges. Property/liability and health insurance costs also continue to escalate.

Still, the budget calls for $12 million in street maintenance, $109.2 million in capital improvements and the use of $7.8 million in pandemic relief fund expenses, which would include three splash pads in lieu of city pools. Atkinson said Clapp Park would be the only pool.

Discussion about those projects and all aspects of the budget continue this week starting at 2 p.m. in the council chambers at Citizens Tower.

According to the budget, the Aug. 9 council meeting will include a discussion of the tax rate and a vote. Meetings on Sept. 6 and 13 will include budget and tax rate hearings as well as council votes.

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