Tax Hike Possible For W.F.

Several major projects across the city are drawing big money andthe city of Wichita Falls is looking to the taxpayers to help. City Councilors met Tuesday for the first of two required public meetings before they can vote to raise your property taxes.

The city's finance department is recommending a one cent tax increase for the 2012/2013 fiscal year, which begins October 1st. If it passes, a home or property valued at $100,000, would cost an additional $10 in property taxes.

The tax hike is expected to generate close to half a million dollars, and fund three big projects.

  • City mowing of highway medians
  • New code enforcement staff to monitor residents properties
  • Debt issued for the new airport terminal.

Newschannel 6 told you about two of these projects in the last two months. First, the city would like to take on some of the responsibility for maintaining highway medians because TxDOT is only able to mow a few times a year.

Assistant City Manager Jim Dockery said, "We want to be in there and mow inside the city limits on a very regular basis so that we have nice appearing roadways for people coming through the city and for our citizens who live here."

The second project we told you about that will receive funding from increased taxes is the new airport terminal. Even with funding from the FAA, the city is still on the hook $420,000 annually over the next 20 years. City officials hope to have some of that compensated by the 4A and 4B Corporations but will likely still have to pay some of it off.

With no citizens stepping up to the microphone at Tuesday's meeting, Dockery believes they have the people's support. He said, "I think what we saw today with no one essentially making any comments is that they're fairly happy with the tax rate here in the community and that these programs that we're talking about using the additional dollars on are favorably received by the public."

The City Council will hold a second public hearing on September 11 at 8:30 a.m. in the City Council Chambers and vote on the resolution September 18th.

Jack Lamson, Newschannel 6