El Portal residents will see their property tax rates unchanged if the village council approves a preliminary 2015-16 budget.
Village Manager Jason Walker is proposing a $6.88 tax rate for every $1,000 of assessed property value, the same as last year.
Under the proposed rate, the owner of a median house valued at about $163,175 would pay about $1,019 in property taxes.
This marks a $116 increase from last year, assuming the owner qualified for the standard homestead exemption and the home’s assessed value increased by 0.8 percent, the maximum allowed by law this year for an owner-occupied home. The city will likely not raise that rate any higher as the budget season goes on, but it can be lowered or remain the same.
Impact on services
The projected total spending for the 2015-16 budget is $1,868,020, compared to last year’s $1,759,839.
Walker said that there aren’t any plans to hire new village employees.
El Portal will invest $150,000 in designing a new sewer system.
“We are only doing the design of the project,” Walker said. “That should take about six months. It will allow us to move from septic to sewer.”
Village Mayor Claudia Cubillos says El Portal is working hard to evolve.
“The village council’s attitude this year is to turn every challenge into an opportunity, which is an opportunity to make El Portal greater,” she said.
The city also has $700,000 for its rainy day funds.
“We are getting some good results, but we must continue our efforts to support growth and investment in El Portal in order to get back to the 10-year high tax base we achieved in 2007,” she said. “It is important to point out we have achieved our rebounding growth not by raising taxes, but instead by consciously keeping our tax rate flat.”
Cubillos said she has directed village staff to work on a five-year financial forecast.
If approved, the 2015-16 budget takes effect Oct. 1. The first and second budget hearings are set for 6:30 p.m. .Sept. 8 and 6:59 p.m. Sept. 22 at Village Hall, 500 NE 87 St.
Check your mailbox
Homeowners received a letter called a “TRIM notice” in August giving them their proposed tax rate and hearing dates. The letter will also include proposed tax rates for the county, school board and other local agencies.