Property Tax Increase Will Likely Hit Henrietta

Homeowners in one Texoma city could be forking over more money, all in property taxes.

The City of Henrietta is proposing the tax increase to offset expenses for city projects.  That very topic was the center of a town hall meeting tonight.

The money will be used as payment for a 3.2 million dollar loan and will also go towards law enforcement.

As far the loan goes it was taken out in February to pay for a few water projects.  The payment is due next year, and they don't have the money for it, that's why they're proposing a 17.5 percent property tax increase.

Although the numbers don't seem too high.  Homeowners will see it come out of their wallet.

"Right now it's 57.496 cents and we're looking at 75 cents," said City Manager of Henrietta, Jeff Jenkins.  "That'll be about an additional $14.50 a month on a 100,000 home."

And an additional $175 a year.  Those numbers should be lower too, considering Henrietta's average home is worth about $67,000.  So most residents will pay a little more than $100.

City Manager Jeff Jenkins says the money is highly needed to pay back a loan that will be used for water projects, like upgrading their water tank.

"It's a 500,000 gallon indoor storage tank that is basically collapsing and cracked," said Jenkins.

So they plan on replacing the tank with two new ones, and the city's raw water line connecting the Little Wichita River to Lake Henrietta.

If passed this will be the first tax increase the city has made in four years and officials are stressing the improvements have to be done.

"I think because of our budget and the way it's laid out it probably will happen."

So Henrietta homeowners can plan on opening up their pocket books come January.

A second hearing will be held to discuss the tax rate.  That meeting will be held on September 13 at 6pm inside Henrietta city hall.

The city also says no capital improvements will be made, even though they do need them and no city employees will see a raise.  They just do not have enough money.