Weslaco city leaders are planning to slap a property tax hike on inflation-weary residents of the largest city in the mid-Valley.
On August 16, the Weslaco City Council proposed a tax rate of 0.6967 cents per $100 valuation. The City of Weslaco had the same tax rate of 0.6967 cents last year and in 2020-2021. However, despite the appearance that the rate has not changed, Weslaco taxpayers can expect a higher tax bill under this proposed rate.
The proposed property tax rate of 0.6967 cents is higher than the no-new-revenue tax rate. The no-new-revenue rate is the tax rate a city can adopt that would raise the same amount of revenue as the prior year. This no-new-revenue rate for 2022 is $0.6177 cents. Were the City of Weslaco to adopt this tax rate, it would raise the same amount of property tax revenue in 2022-2023 that it did in 2021-2022. However, the property tax rate Weslaco city leaders are proposing is almost 8 cents higher than this no-new-revenue rate.
Any tax rate higher than the no-new-revenue rate is a tax increase.
Moreover, this proposed tax rate is just shy of the voter-approval rate, the tax rate that sets the threshold for when the city must allow taxpayers to vote on it.
Weslaco’s voter-approval rate is $0.6990, but because the proposed tax rate is $0.6967 (less than a penny below the voter-approval rate), the city council avoided having to get voters’ permission. The only recourse for Weslaco citizens will be for them to make their voices heard at a public hearing.
However, the city council appears ready to approve the proposed rate. Mayor David Suarez, Mayor Pro Tem Josh Pedraza, Commissioner At-Large Leo Munoz, Commissioner At-Large Greg Kerr, and Commissioner Letty Lopez all voted for the proposal. Commissioners Jose “J.P.” Rodriguez and Adrian Farias were both absent. Nobody voted against it.
Over the past year, the average homestead taxable value increased by $15,063. If the city adopts the same tax rate as last year, the average tax would increase by $104.95. So, while the city of Weslaco proposes to adopt a tax rate that is the same as the previous year, the rate is actually a tax hike. Under the proposed tax scheme, the City of Weslaco expects to generate an extra $2,037,360 in tax revenue.
Weslaco tax rates for 2022-23 (per $100 assessed valuation):
- Proposed tax rate = $0.6967
- No-new-revenue rate = $0.6177
- Voter-approval rate = $0.6990
A public hearing for the proposed budget and tax rates is scheduled for Tuesday, September 6, at 5:30 p.m. at Weslaco City Hall. Weslaco taxpayers may attend and express their opinion regarding the tax rate.