Abilene City Council approves new budget, tax rate increase


ABILENE, Texas - Abilene City Council made a final decision on the tax rate for the 2017-2018 fiscal year: it's going up.

Council adopted a general fund budget of $92,352,000 and approved a tax rate of $0.7751 per 100 dollars of taxable value during Tuesday night ' s meeting. That's up from the current rate of $0.7465 per 100 dollars.

"Council approved a one cent dedicated to self-insurance fund and one cent dedicated to convention center maintenance," said Abilene Director of Finance Mike Rains.

Five were in favor of the tax increase, which was all that was needed to move forward. However, Councilman Bruce Kreitler and Councilman Steve Savage voted against it.

"Apparently the rest of the council supports tax increases, but I don't," Savage said. "I don't know too many taxpayers that think 7 percent a year is acceptable. Nobody's wages are going up that high. Of course some people voting on it, their taxes don't go up, they're frozen."

"Increasing the budget 7.6 percent, if we were doing the 7.6 percent and that 7.6 was going to go to streets, I could see this," Kreitler said.

Mayor Anthony Williams had a different point of view.

"It ' s our budget and we are a team, so we may have some disagreements, but it ' s our job to put forth a budget that we can live with," Williams said.

One resident who wasn ' t too fond of the idea of paying more spoke during the public hearing.

"We can't, we can't, we can't, cannot keep raising taxes just to pay for stuff," said Dale Brocker.

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