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City approves proposed higher tax rate, first reading of annual budget


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City approves proposed higher tax rate, first reading of annual budget

By SHAWN YORKS
Dalhart Texan

Property taxes are set to go up across the Dallam and Hartley County area, and the city of Dalhart is no exception. But it isn’t going up so much that an election will be required.

The Dalhart City Council on Aug. 22 proposed a new property tax rate of $0.413 per $100 of property value. That rate is lower than the $0.413847 per $100 which would require an election but higher than the “No New New Tax” rate of $0.402394 per $100 of value, which requires a public hearing.

The public hearing will be required in September.

The new rate would bring in an extra $65,000 to the city.

“It’s necessary because our expenses are going up as well as everybody else in the community,” said Mayor Justin Moore. “I mean, we’re having to pay more for fuel and parts and materials. It helps us with our budget, as well.”
Moore said that if there’s extra revenue that’s available, the city should try to go for it.

A public hearing on the proposed tax rate will take place Sept. 12.

•The city council also held a public hearing for the first reading of the 2022-2023 annual budget on Monday night. The budget addresses infrastructure needs, staff development, competitive bay for critical positions and operational efficiencies.

The General Fund, operating fund of the city for Fiscal Year 2022-2023 is structurally balanced at $8.2 million. That’s 5.2 percent higher than last year. Property taxes will bring in 37 percent of the city’s revenue and the second largest revenue source for the city - the sales tax - will bring in 23 percent, reflecting an increase of 5.9 percent from last year.

Capital expenditures include playground equipment for the city’s pools and parks, Phase One of the water tank storage rehabilitation, street paving and traffic improvements for Texas and First Streets and technology upgrades for the water department.

The Fleet Department is budgeted to purchase a fire truck - partially funded by a grant, a vehicle for the Information Technology Department, a trash truck, a police vehicle and a compactor for the landfill.

A 2 percent salary adjustment for cost of living is also budgeted.

A top hiring priority is to recruit lifeguards, as well as summer help to support maintenance and upkeep of city facilities.

Council member Dwayne Smith reminded everyone that the council has worked closely with city staff on the budget.

“It’s not like we’re just sitting here not looking at anything,” Smith said. “We’ve done a lot of research and a lot of time spent on it.”

Moore agreed,
“For the record, each

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