Copperas Cove city council takes record vote on tax rate

 

By BRITTANY FHOLER

Cove Leader-Press

 

The Copperas Cove City Council took a record vote during a special meeting on Thursday to propose a property tax rate of $0.721028 per $100 valuation.

The record vote comes ahead of the official action item scheduled for August 9 to adopt the tax rate, budget and fee schedule for the next fiscal year.

The council’s record vote was 5-0 in favor, with councilmembers Joann Courtland and Shawn Alzona absent from the special meeting.

The proposed tax rate of $0.721028 per $100 valuation is lower than the current tax rate of $0.760068, and is also lower than the property tax rate that the city manager and budget department staff used when the preparing proposed budget presented in June.

City Manager Ryan Haverlah explained that the $0.736006 tax rate used was an estimate due to the city not having the certified values yet and only having estimated values from the appraisal district.

Once the property values were certified, the official Voter Approval tax rate and No New Revenue tax rates were calculated.

The No New Revenue tax rate was calculated to be $0.617904 per $100 valuation, while the Voter Approval tax rate is the $0.721028 per $100 valuation.

If the city council proposed and adopted a rate higher than the Voter Approval tax rate, an election would have been held for voters to approve that proposed rate, as required by state law.

Using the Voter Approval rate, the city will see an increase in revenues to the General Fund in the amount of $165,416 for the fiscal year 2022-2023 budget.

Haverlah also shared information with the city council members comparing Copperas Cove to other cities in the Central Texas region in terms of median home sale price, average taxable value, property tax rate, etc.

Compared to cities like Gatesville, Killeen, Lampasas, Nolanville, Temple, Harker Heights, Belton, Hutto, Pflugerville, Georgetown, Round Rock, Leander and Cedar Park, Copperas Cove has the highest tax rate. Of the cities mentioned, the only other city with a tax rate above $0.70 is Killeen, at $0.7004 per $100.

The average annual amount paid by Copperas Cove property owners in 2021 was $1,044. Copperas Cove came in fifth compared to the other cities previously mentioned.

Haverlah also touched on the services offered by the City of Copperas Cove. Compared to the other cities in the region, Copperas Cove provides 10 different services including a cemetery, civic center, golf course, library, municipal building/city hall, Parks and Recreation, sewer system, Senior Center, Solid Waste, swimming pools and water system. The only city on the list that provides more services is Killeen, which has the same services plus an airport. Temple is the other city on the list that provides the same number of services as Copperas Cove, but while Temple has an airport, they do not have a municipal cemetery.

Mayor Dan Yancey said that that data “proves the point that Copperas Cove citizens get the most bang for their buck.”

“You get one of the lower tax rate tax payments, and yet provide more services than comparable cities, and I think that's very telling because I think people get hung up on that Copperas Cove has the highest tax rate, and there's a lot of other factors that goes that goes into that, and I think that kind of shows a number of different levels that the affordability of living in Copperas Cove and the services that are provided are very telling and very good,” Yancey added.

Yancey said that while Copperas Cove may not have the best of everything, if citizens wanted to forego some services or change the tax to make money go into certain projects, that is a possibility.

“I think that as a body, council’s been very cognitive of the fact that we want to keep the budget in line, keep it affordable but yet provide the services that our citizens have come to expect and are willing to pay for, and I think that that's a testament to everybody here and quite frankly to those even before,” Yancey said.

He added that this information all proves that Copperas Cove is a great place to live.

The city council will meet again on Tuesday, August 9 to take action on adopting the proposed tax rate, proposed budget and fee schedule for fiscal year 2022-2023.

The entire tax rate presentation is available online at https://destinyhosted.com/coppedocs/2022/CCSPC/20220728_1885/11069_07282022_FY_2022-23_Tax_Rate_Calculation.pdf.

Copperas Cove Leader Press

2210 U.S. 190
Copperas Cove, TX 76522
Phone:(254) 547-4207