Facing a proposed deficit budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, members of the Lamesa City Council have approved a maximum proposed ad valorem tax rate of 83 cents per $100 of valuation to support that budget.
    City Manager Shawna D. Burkhart explained that the council had to go ahead and approve a proposed maximum tax rate at its regular meeting on Tuesday, but that rate can be reduced before actually being adopted by council members next month.
    “You are setting the high end of the tax rate,” Burkhart told council members prior to their vote. “You can come down (on the rate), but you can’t go up.”
    The proposed tax rate of 83 cents is just below the city’s rollback tax rate of 83.1465 cents per $100 of valuation.
    Since the proposed rate is almost six cents above the effective tax rate of 77.1692 cents, Burkhart said the City Council will be required to hold two separate public hearings in regard to that proposed tax rate.
    The effective tax rate, which is calculated by the Dawson County Central Appraisal District, is the rate that would be required in order to generate approximately the same amount of tax revenue as in the current fiscal year based on the new appraised values of taxable property within the city limits.
    Burkhart had proposed a tax rate of 82.7521 cents, which would have been a one penny increase over the current year’s tax rate and would have been equal to the city’s tax rate in the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
    After some discussion on Tuesday, Mayor Josh Stevens and Council member Jason Moreno both stated they felt the proposed rate should be set as high as possible without getting into a rollback situation.


(See complete story in e-Edition online and in printed edition of Lamesa Press-Reporter on newsstands now.)