Magnolia City Council convened a special session Aug. 2 to consider a proposed change to the property tax. Montgomery County Assessor and Collector J. R. Moore, Jr., outlined the steps that would be necessary for the council to lower the city’s tax rate to $0.4786 per $100, from $0.4814 per $100 of value.
The council passed a motion to propose the new rate and to undertake those steps.
As explained by Moore, the council must conduct two public hearings on the tax rate, while his office must advertise the new rate in newspapers. The public notices must also be published on the city’s website. All of this must be accomplished before the end of August.
The proposal will increase total tax revenue from properties on the tax roll in the preceding tax year by more than five percent. That occurs because the proposal will allow for more of the collected revenue to be distributed to the city’s maintenance and operation budget, rather than the debt service fund. The city is estimated to have more than $50,000 additional to work with for operation and maintenance costs.
Individual tax rates will be lower, as long as the assessed valuation of the property isn’t higher. If the council adopts the proposed tax rate, the tax on an average Magnolia home would be $449.07 on a home valued at an average of $97,667. Last year, the amount of taxes imposed on an average home was $470.17 on a home valued at an average of $93,830.
The additional tax revenue will be used for city maintenance and operations. The rate of $0.4786 is the maximum amount that can be adopted by the city for next year’s budget.
“After the public hearings (the city) can adopt a rate that is less but cannot adopt a rate that is more,” stated Moore.
Only properties inside the Magnolia city limits will be subject to the tax.
The council scheduled the two public hearings for the evenings of Tuesday, Aug. 14 and Tuesday, Aug. 21. The public hearings will have a separate agenda.
“People will come here to talk about the tax rate. They cannot discuss the budget at these two meetings,” Moore clarified.
The meeting to vote on and adopt the tax rate is set for Wednesday, Aug. 29.
All meetings begin at 7 p.m. at the Magnolia City Hall at 18111 Buddy Riley Boulevard in Magnolia. Residents of the city of Magnolia are encouraged to attend the meetings.