Sherman residents will find some relief from increasing property taxes in the next fiscal year. The Sherman City Council approved a nearly $94.6 million budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year Monday night.
The approval comes following changes by city staff to add relief from a six-cent increase to property tax rates amid concerns by members of the council.
Alongside the budget, the city is proposing a property tax rate of $0.489 per 100 per $100 of assessed value, and the city is expected to discuss and vote on approving the tax rate in mid September ahead of the new fiscal year.
“I really wanted to see it (tax increases) offset and that info went back to you guys and I greatly appreciate city staff for working and getting there so that the average tax payer doesn’t have that added tax burden,” Deputy Mayor Shawn Teamann said Monday.
The city is slated to receive more than $3.65 million in additional revenue over the previous year. This includes $507,000 from new property to the tax rolls, city officials said.
Under the current valuations, City Manager Robby Hefton said the average home price in Sherman sits at about $117,000, with a median cost of about $95,000. Based on the average cost, Hefton said the proposed six-cent increase to property taxes would equate to about $72 a year.
Initially, the city was slated to roll out a $4 per month decrease to solid waste fees to offset some of this tax increase. However, city officials announced Monday that this relief would be increased to $6 per month and fully offset the tax increase.
The proposed budget also includes a revenue increase of $400,000 related to a forecasted surplus of revenue generated by the Texoma Area Solid Waste Authority, of which Sherman is a founding member, starting in late 2019. The board of directors is expected to vote on a distribution for these funds between the founding cities of Sherman, Denison and Gainesville in September.
“We do not know exactly what it will be,” Hefton said. “We don’t know exactly when it will be, … but this will be our best guess of what that amount will be and the timing of that.”
Initially, this distribution was expected to be a possible source of additional tax relief, however city leaders did not indicate if these funds will be used for that purpose.
In addition to providing relief from the property taxes, the decrease to waste fees will be a savings to nearly 2,600 tax accounts for elderly residents that maintain a frozen rate.
In the previous meeting, Teamann was the lone vote of opposition against the property tax rate increase and budgetary items due to concerns with the increased tax burden. While the other members of the council voted in favor of setting hearings, the majority voiced concerns with the increases.
During Monday’s meeting, Teamann thanked city staff for taking the time to find a way to balance the budget so that the tax rate increase had minimal effect on taxpayers.
“Last meeting, I was the main opposition,” he said. “I was the one who voted against the tax rate increase, although I know that there were a lot of folks on this council who felt the same way.”