HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – Harlingen’s property tax rate will be decreased in the coming year following approval of the city’s $95.8 million budget, city officials boasted Friday.
“(The budget) includes the necessary funding to maintain acceptable levels of service in all areas as directed by the Commission that focuses on public safety, drainage & infrastructure, and quality of life issues,” city officials stated Friday in a media release.
On Wednesday, the city commissioners approved the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year Budget as presented.
The combined $95,812,266 million budget includes a decrease in the property tax rate for the third consecutive year. The adopted tax rate is 0.606357 cents per $100 assessed valuation down from 0.619849.
“This new tax rate is one of the lowest in the Rio Grande Valley, lower than many neighboring cities such as Brownsville, Edinburg, Pharr, Weslaco, San Juan, San Benito, Donna, and Mercedes,” city officials stated.
The new budget includes:
- five police units;
- extrication tools or hazmat detectors for fire suppression;
- new vehicles for Code Compliance and Building Inspections;
- more than $6 million for drainage projects;
- a new truck for Public Works;
- $450,000 for projected electricity cost increases;
- $1.5 million for street improvements;
- Nine new positions citywide.
Millions allocated to reserve funds
The newly adopted budget also includes a reserve fund balance of $25 million which translates to 172 operating days of service.
Harlingen’s policy requires reserving enough funds to cover a minimum of 120 operating days. The
budget also calls for a 1 to 3% pay increase for all employees with no increase in health insurance rates.
Where’s the money coming from?
Harlingen’s largest revenue source continues to come from taxes, officials said.
Property, sales and franchise taxes make up 89% of the total general fund revenues while business licenses, fines, recreation fees and other miscellaneous revenue make up the remaining 11%.
The fiscal year begins Oct. 1.