The special meeting was recessed and a Public Hearing was called to order at 5:00 p.m. by Mayor Nugent for the purpose of discussing and receiving comments regarding the proposed tax rate of $.646438/$100 assessed valuation for FY 2005-2006.
Andre' Wimer, City Manager, explained that new State statutes require that two Public Hearings be conducted prior to the tax rate being adopted. He stated that at the last meeting the Council discussed setting the proposed tax rate at $.646438, which would eliminate any deficit and the need to transfer funds from reserves.
Mayor Pro Tem Neal stated that he feels we should adopt the next higher rate of $.652456, which would still be below the rollback rate and would increase revenues by $38,838. Councilmember Sheffield agreed stating that with the recent increases in fuel costs the City will probably need the funds to offset any potential fuel costs. Councilmember Griffin also agreed that the slight increase would be better for the City and would possibly eliminate the need to increase the tax rate next year. Councilmember Rogers added that he feels the initial proposed tax rate of $.646438 would be sufficient.
Mr. Wimer stated that we generally do not spend the entire budget annually and believes the $.646438 is justifiable. He added that not only would the City be facing higher fuel costs, our citizens will as well.
Mr. Wimer explained that SB 18 is not very plain regarding the two Public Hearing requirements relative to publication. The notice announcing the two Public Hearings has been published with the first proposed tax rate that was discussed at the last meeting. If the Council were to decide to increase the tax rate it will probably have to be done at the regular meeting of September 26th.
Mayor Nugent announced that the final vote on the tax rate would be at 6:00 p.m. on September 26, 2005, at the Nederland City Office Building.
There being no further questions and/or comments the Public Hearing was adjourned and the Special meeting was reconvened at 6:00 p.m.