Mesquite city hall

The Mesquite City Council on Monday proposed a property tax rate of $0.70862 per $100 of valuation for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

The proposed rate is a tax ceiling that the council cannot exceed. The public hearing to amend and adopt the tax rate will be held on Aug. 16.  

The tax rate is proposed to be the same as the previous year. However, residents whose homes increased in value will pay more in taxes than they did in the 2020-21 fiscal year.

“That tax revenue will go toward funding our public safety departments where we have a great shortfall of revenue to hire and keep our police department and firefighters,” Mayor Pro Tem Robert Miklos said.

According to the 2021-22 budget proposal on the city website, the city expects the balance of total funds by Sept. 1 of this year to be $101 million with $25 million going toward general funds.

Baseline programs included in the proposed budget include increasing positions in both the police and fire departments, health screening for firefighters and police officers, increasing salaries for public safety staff and city staff to competitive market level and providing partial funding for a school resource officer at Mesquite ISD’s Vanguard High School.

“I appreciate the discussions we had about health screening,” Councilman Dan Alleman said. “We talked about our police and our firefighters. They finish their careers here in our city, and we want to make sure they’re taken care of year after year.”

Additionally, the budget would provide a $750,000 increase to road and alleyway maintenance.

“Increasing the street funding is a huge thing, even if it is a small amount,” Councilman Kenny Green said. “$750,000 doesn’t really go a long way with roads. I wish it went further than it does, but stuff’s expensive. I’m grateful we have a plan in place to keep building that fund because eventually the bond funds will run out, and if we can avoid having to go back to the taxpayers, that’s a great thing.”

Solid waste pickup fees would increase by $1, and water and sewer rates would remain unchanged.

To fund lifeguard pay and maintenance, fees for the swimming pool and the golf course would both increase.

City Council will adopt the 2021/2022 fiscal year budget on August 16.

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