City of Tyler residents will get a chance Wednesday to voice opinions about a proposed 5.92 percent tax rate increase in the city's municipal property tax rate.
Earlier this month, city officials announced the possible 1.23-cent rate increase from 20.77 cents to 22 cents per $100 valuation to fund fire, police, parks and recreation and library services in the 2013-2014 fiscal year. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1. On Sept. 11, there will be another public comment hearing at the regularly called city council meeting and the final adoption of the budget is scheduled for the Sept. 25 council meeting.
City Manager Mark McDaniel called it a "responsible restoration" budget, referencing the national recession of the past few years at the Aug. 14 council meeting. "We didn't want to raise taxes on residents when they were in difficult times," he told council members. McDaniel, who presented the proposed city budget to council, said the city has relied on its fund balance or savings as a way to continue funding for those recurring public service items during the recession for the past few years.
The city still has the lowest tax rate of any city in the state with more than 16,000 residents, and Tyler's tax rate has fallen by 60 percent since 1994, city officials have said.
In other business, city council is expected to approve the transfer of a 24-foot enclosed emergency services trailer for the Tyler Fire Department from the Piney Woods Regional Advisory Council, according to information provided by the city.
The Piney Woods Regional Advisory Council operates as a not-for-profit entity serving as a link between area hospitals, pre hospital providers and local, state and federal agencies in matters of trauma, healthcare and disaster preparedness and response, according to the Council website.
The council purchased the $98,000 trailer with a federal grant from the Department of Homeland Security, said Loretta Kuhn of the council. The unit is equipped with a water filtration system that can carry 28,000 gallons of potable water, a refrigeration unit, and a mounted 8-kilowatt generator, according to information received from the city.
Also, a planned north Tyler medical clinic to be located at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Gentry Parkway may get $66,375 in financial help from the city for needed renovations if council approves, according to information the city provided. The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler will operate the 25,944-square-foot multi-purpose clinic, which will include educational and meeting spaces. The University of Texas System Board of Regents approved the clinic's creation in November. UT Health Science Center currently has clinic facilities in Gladewater and Overton and a residency-training program in Longview's Good Shepherd Medical Center.
The lease and estimated operating expenses would cost the center $1.4 million and an additional $3.1 million in renovation costs, according to reports published in November.
The city council will meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 212 N. Bonner Ave.