Lancaster City Council unanimously approves new fiscal tax rate and budget

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LANCASTER – The Lancaster City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve the city’s proposed tax rate.

“We have proposed a tax rate of $0.691822 per $100 assessed valuation and this is a 7.7 cent reduction,” said Lancaster City Manager Opal Mauldin-Jones. “The City of Lancaster commercial and industrial growth have contributed significantly to the development of our community. We have several roadway projects, water and wastewater improvements scheduled for the FY 2022/2023 budget year.”

These tax dollars are set each year to provide revenue for the city’s current operating and maintenance expenses and interest and sinking fund requirements. The set tax rate this year in Lancaster will raise more taxes for maintenance and operations than last year’s tax rate.

Staff notes reported “The tax rate will effectively be raised by 5.12% – this is the percentage in which the tax rate may be higher than the No-New Revenue tax rate calculated. The tax rate will raise taxes on a $100,000 home by $-57.68.

The tax rate of $0.691822 on each one hundred dollars assessed value of taxable property will be distributed with $0.531384 for the purpose of maintenance and operations, which also includes $0.025 dedicated to the Street Maintenance Fund,  $0.0025 for the Equipment Fund, and $0.160438 for interest and sinking fund requirements.

A vote also passed unanimously for the fiscal year 2022/2023 budget beginning October 1, 2022, and ending September 30, 2023, in the amount of $79,341,171.

The breakdown includes the General Fund at $38,323,836; G.O. Debt Service $5,489,220; Street Maintenance $1,116,547; Water & Wastewater $20,630,177; Airport $518,962; Hotel/Motel $44,478; LEDC/4A $2,522,227; LRDC/4B $3,941,805; Golf Course; $1,300,907 Sanitation; $2,690,921 E911; $382,850, and Stormwater $2,379,240.

Also, as necessary council approved a required resolution ratifying the budget for the fiscal year 2022/2023 that results in the increase of revenues by 5.12% from property taxes over the previous year. This vote was necessary since in September of 2007 several laws went into effect, including House Bill 3195 as passed by the 80th Legislature that requires cities to post both their preliminary and adopted budgets on their website. The resolution requiring the vote to ratify the budget is also required by cities and counties that are raising more revenue from property taxes than in the preceding year.

Staff notes indicated  “The FY 2022/2023 budget and tax rate results in an increase in revenues by 5.12% – percentage by which the tax rate will be higher than the no-new-revenue tax rate – from property taxes compared to the previous year.”

A vote passed for the approval of an ordinance for the proposed fiscal year 2022/2023 budget regarding proceeds of seized property for the Lancaster Police Department.

Lancaster Police Chief Sam Urbanski submitted the budget regarding the expenditures for conducting the affairs of the Lancaster Police Department for the new fiscal year outlining the fund budget dollars for the Police Seized Funds with the state at $15,668 and Federal at $81,358 for a total of $97,026.