WF Public Hearing held for Proposed Property Tax Rate

Proposal for tax rate increase

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) -At Tuesday's Wichita Falls City Council meeting a Public Hearing was held on the Proposed Property Tax Rate for the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year.

T.P Hillman moved to Wichita Falls about a year ago from Houston. Tuesday he told council why he doesn’t think the proposed tax is a good idea here

"Moved here from Houston due to the Hurricane Harvey flood and moved up here cause my son and daughter-in-law are here invited us to be close to them, So that's why we are here. So when I got here, I started doing a lot of research, and I was surprised by what I found," said T.P Hillman.

Hillman said Wichita Falls is on the high side of property rates when compared to other similar areas and he dost not agree with raising property taxes.

District one City Councilor Eric West said the proposed tax rate increase breaks down like this: for a $100,000 home – you pay $ 730 right now with the proposed increase that $ 730 will go to $763 a year.

" The only number going up is the evaluation number. So, from year to year, the evaluation of property goes up, and so you might pay a little bit based upon that, but right now we have not made a decision on the tax rate. There is an increase up for grabs right now depending on what council wants to do. Right now that's not going to happen based upon our tax evaluation, said Wichita Falls Mayor Stephan Santellana.

Though some are opposed to any tax increase, city workers welcome and encourage the idea. Leaders of both the fire department and police department spoke up in favor of the potential increase.

“So this is good. If we can get this passed although it is a slight tax increase it would help all city employees not just police and fire but all city employees get them to that seven and 14 percent is huge, and it’s really going to make a difference. Also over a long period, It’s going to really help the city in hiring and retention,” said Sgt. John Spragins.

Along with bringing public safety pay up it would also impact retirement.

“That’s a big disparity that we are trying to get taken care of in the next couple of years. So it looks like if we can raise that tax rate that’s something we will be able to get taken care of this year,” said Mayor Santellana.

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