Edinburg tax rate remains at bay

EDINBURG — The city’s tax rate will remain the same despite previous statements indicating the council would consider a three-cent decrease.

Edinburg’s tax rate will idle at 63.5 cents per $100 valuation for the 23rd consecutive year. Council members set the rate Tuesday and adopted a combined budget of just over $100 million.

The city will have to go out for at least $5 million in bonds to be able to complete all of the proposed projects, City Manager Richard Hinojosa said.

“Our sales taxes have flattened down in the last six months,” he told commissioners. “In fact, we’ve gone down to the negative as far as collection of sales tax and that has affected our fund balance.”

Council member David Torres lamented being not able to reduce the tax rate as was recently proposed by council member J.R. Betancourt. In May, the city sent out a news release indicating the council would consider a three-cent decrease.

Torres believes it can be done in the near future, but not without some effort.

“It just doesn’t happen from one year to the next. It’s a difficult thing to do,” he said. “I went through this at the school district. It takes years, but it can be done.”

Still, the city expects to receive more revenue in the upcoming fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, than it did this year. Hinojosa’s office estimated a 2.5 percent increase based on higher property valuations by the Hidalgo County Appraisal District and new development in the city.