The Rockport City Council, at its regular meeting Tuesday, Aug. 13, approved unanimously via record vote the proposed 2019 tax rate, which will help fuel the city’s 2019-2020 budget, and set the date and time for the two required public hearings.

The proposed tax rate is $.420082, which is six percent above the effective (no new taxes) tax rate.

The two public hearings are set for 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27 and 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10.

In addition to revenues generated via ad valorem taxes, the budget includes a projected three percent increase in sales tax revenue and a 21.9 percent increase in hotel occupancy tax revenue.

There is also a five percent increase for commercial sanitation (garbage pickup), a 3.75 percent increase in wastewater rates, and a 7.5 percent increase in natural gas rates.

There are no rate increases for water or residential sanitation.

On the expense side, the budget includes a 1.3 percent cost of living increase and two percent average for merit raises.

Group medical insurance costs are up 10.7 percent.

The budget also includes increased training investments in all departments, and the reinstatement/addition of five positions, and the creation of a self-insurance sinking fund for deductibles.

The Parks and Leisure Services Department will get two mowers, one Mule, and two ½ ton pickups.

The Rockport Police Department will get two Tahoes and a ¾ ton pickup.

The Street Department and Utility Department will each get a backhoe in this budget. Utilities will also get a Ditch Witch and trailer, mini excavator and a one-ton pickup.

One can view the complete budget at www.cityofrockport.com. Click on agendas and minutes, and open the Aug. 13 City Council packet. The budget begins on page 379.

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