Council sets tax rate at 33.10 per $100 valuation

Christopher Maher, Alice Echo-News Journal

The Alice City Council completed the budget process for the year Monday, by approving the 2007-2008 city budget and tax rate.

The council set the tax rate at $.331080 per $100 valuation Monday, slightly lower than the effective tax rate of $.334471 per $100 valuation.

The effective rate is the rate necessary to collect the same amount of taxes as the previous year. Both of those rates represent a reduction from the 2007 tax rate, which was set at $.40 per $100 valuation.

Mayor Grace Saenz-Lopez praised City Manager Albert Uresti and Finance Director Hector Hinojosa for their work on the budget this year.

"I know that council was very set on not having a high tax rate and, more so, in reducing overall taxes," Saenz-Lopez said.

The council also voted to approve the 2007-2008 Fiscal Year City Budget as presented by staff, as well as fee changes associated with that budget.

The Fiscal Year 2007-2008 City Budget totalled $23,511,752.

In other business, the council approved the installation of new lights at the Alice Municipal Airport.

The lights were donated by Exxon Mobil Corporation and are intended to increase security at the airport, officials said.

The cost of the electricity to power the lights is expected to be paid by the City of Alice and Jim Wells County.

Uresti said the county will also be asked to approve the new lights and the payment of the electricity to power them at the next commissioner's meeting.

The council also voted to rename Robert Tijerina of Estrada Hinojosa and Company, Inc. as the primary financial advisor for the city. Tijerina was the advisor for the city in obtaining the recent $9.6 million bond for improvements to the city's water and wastewater infrastructure.