Mr. James W. Howard of Hunt wrote a letter published here recently in which he noted the deteriorating economic condition of our nation and the impact in this area. He was appealing for taxing entities in Kerr County to hold to the 2019 rates.
Mr. Hunt is right to be alarmed about the impact of the pandemic on our economy, and I want to note some of the ways the city is addressing these tough times.
The Kerr Central Appraisal District is not part of the city of Kerrville, but an independent agency created by the State. Earlier in this summer, the Kerrville City Council unanimously voted to send a letter to the Governor to hold the appraisal rates to the 2019 level given the impact of the Coronavirus. Unfortunately, that is not what happened.
I am proud to announce, however, that the budget proposed for Kerrville does not require an increase in taxes. The city has not increased its tax rate since 2010 and even lowered it three times in the last four years. The FY21 budget proposal lowers the current tax rate of $0.5400 per $100 of assessed value to $0.5116. This helps to address concerns over significant increases in local property tax appraisals. Also, no water or sewer rate increases are recommended.
This budget represents significant cuts, reduction of salary related expenses, and an ongoing freeze in hiring.
Mr. Howard noted that “one of the best ways to kill any economic recovery in our country is to raise taxes in a declining economy.”
The city of Kerrville wants to see all of us get through this pandemic, strengthen our economy in the days ahead, and be ready for the growth we are already seeing here.
Bill Blackburn, Mayor of Kerrville