By David Tuma, Publisher
It is a work in progress but the City of Belton is nearing the completion of the 2019 budget. Preventive street maintenance is supposed to increase to $170,000 up from $125,000 in 2017. Anyone who was driving around Belton the past few days after school started can see that the streets of Belton have more than just a few cars.
Four of the police vehicles are over eight-years, some parks vehicles and tractors that are over 19-years old and will be replaced. health insurance rates continue to go upward with city anticipating a 12.5 percent increase in cost of health care insurance in 2019. Information and technology will see a $59,000 increase over the 2018 budget as the city invests in the future.
Staffing and benefits will continue to be a challenge with rising double digit health care increases.
Belton’s tax roll increased to $1,551,925,886 an increase of over $74 million over last year. The taxable value increased to $1,120,153,343 increasing by 64-million over the past year. So far the council is looking at a balanced budget. The purchase of land near Heritage Park should be completed without raising the tax rate.
Just as school tax rates have increased with the more and more Americans moving to Texas. So might the Belton city tax rate. So far that doesn’t look to be the case. Services cost money, new homes cost money in terms of water lines, streets and park expansion.
Façade grants were approved for 100 South Central $20,000, 204 North Penelope ($20,000) and 107 North East Street for Oak Fire Pizza in the amount of $10,000. Belton continues to see an increase in the investment of business moving into downtown at a record pace. Over 32 percent of the City’s budget comes from sales tax and franchise taxes. This doesn’t include the actual taxes for the property.
Public budget meetings will be held August 28th and September 11th.