Seven people showed up to speak during the final of two Wichita Falls public hearings regarding a proposed property tax increase. The increase would mean property owners would pay a $0.65 instead of $0.63 per $100 value. The increases would go towards across the board pay increases for public employees.
The majority of the people who spoke today spoke against the proposal.
"I just want to comment that I'm asking ya'll not to do the raise. Because we have not been getting raised to keep up with the economy like other people and I'm just asking you to consider that," said Jerry Weems.
There were also those who supported a pay increase but did not believe those increases should come in the form of a tax.
"They get the money from taxes already, and I feel like if it's not in the budget for them to get a raise, you should not raise taxes for them to get a pay raise," said David Craft.
City workers who would benefit from the pay increase say it was nothing something they want, but something they need.
"I've been an officer here for over ten years. Overall, my experience here as an officer has been extremely positive. We stuck through during the hard times, but now the price of insurance, gas, water, food, everything has gone up," said a Wichita Falls Police Officer.
Other members of the public that spoke expressed their feelings that businesses will pay the tax increase on to consumers through higher prices. Jean Hall told the council that they would be voting for "a decrease in income to everybody else in the city in order to fund the increase for these employees."
It was councilmen Tim Ingle, who pointed out that this tax comes only a month after a water rate increase was approved. Arguing that the city should have paid for the city employee pay raise through cuts to the Wichita Falls general fund. The city has said the increase would generate a little under $1 million dollars, ingle said there was plenty that could be cut from the budget to subsidize that amount.
The city will vote either for or against the proposed property tax increase Tuesday September 16th.