Fairfield Council sets proposed tax rate, reviews budget and hears funding requests

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“I am moving a motion to reduce the tax burden on our citizens with the voter approval rating of 0.432511 per $100 of assessment,” Fairfield council member Arland Thill said at a special meeting. convened on Thursday August 4, 2022.

The motion was approved unanimously, with Councilor Stephen Daniel absent from the proceedings.

The proposed tax rate is 6% lower than the previous year’s tax rate.

However, with property values ​​increasing this year in Freestone County, the proposed tax rate is expected to generate a total of $72,194 more income. (article published in print edition 081022 originally read “about $80,000”)

During the pre-vote discussion, Councilor Thill asked if the extra money could be spent on street repairs, and Councilor Angela Oglesbee asked if that would be enough funds to keep the town running.

If the Council had chosen to set a property tax above the voter approval rate, it would have automatically triggered an election for voter approval.

During a budget workshop held later that evening, Fairfield EMS and Fairfield Library presented Board members with a summary of the past year’s accomplishments and their budget requests.

“We had one of the best summer programs this year,” Fairfield Library manager Gary Wiggins said as he told city council about the library’s comeback after the pandemic shutdown. .

Also on the agenda, several community organizations were requesting funding for a hotel or motel for the coming fiscal year.

Hotel/motel funds are levied as a special occupancy tax on “any building or buildings in which members of the public obtain accommodation for consideration” for less than 30 days.

Revenues generated should be reserved for expenditures that directly enhance and promote tourism AND the convention and hospitality industry.

Categories approved by the State of Texas to qualify for hotel/motel funding include:

–Promotion of the arts

–Historic restoration or preservation programs

–Certain promotional expenses related to sporting events

–Improvement or upgrading of existing sports facilities

–Transportation for tourists

–Signage directing tourists to sites and attractions

Organizations and event planners presenting to Council members included the annual Fairfield Invitational Basketball Tournament,

Freestone County Fair Association, Freestone County Go Texan Scholarship Committee, Freestone County Historical Commission, Moody-Bradley House Foundation, Fairfield History Club, Texas State Coon Hunters Association, and Trinity Star Arts Council.

Following the presentations, Fairfield Council reviewed the budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year with City Administrator Nate Smith, continuing discussions the following evening, Friday, August 5, 2022.

Answers to budget questions during the Friday, August 5, 2022 workshop are Clyde Woods – Director of Public Works, Nate Smith – City Administrator and Misty Richardson – City Clerk.

The discussion and possible action to adopt the budget was on the agenda of a regularly convened meeting on Tuesday, August 9, 2022.

Click here to read the draft budget 2022-2023.

The property tax and budget hearings will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 at the Green Barn. This is a special council meeting.

The budget and the tax rate will be put to the vote at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 at the Grange Verte. This is a regular council meeting.

For more information, visit the City of Fairfield website at www.fairfieldtexas.com

(Photos by Karen Leidy)

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