Allen explained that the tax increase is not so much a matter of increasing revenue for Mineral Wells, but rather it is more about trying to keep up with expenses. Lately, sales tax revenue has been considerably lower than normal and Allen said the City needs to keep the revenue stream as consistent as possible in order to continue to offer the same services that the people of Mineral Wells want and need.
In addition to the property tax increase, Mineral Wells' water rates and rates for sewer service will also increase. The new water rate is approximately a 6-percent ($1.76) increase for the average residential customer who uses between 3,000 to 7,000 gallons of water per month. Likewise, the new sewer rate also stands at around a 6-percent ($1.91) increase for the same average usage.
The new rates follow an increasing block rate design. Under this format, the unit price for water increases as the volume consumed increases, with prices set for each "block" of water used. This design rewards customers who consume less water by charging more modest prices for conservation. The Texas Water Development Board recommended this rate structure and it is a component of the City of Mineral Wells Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan.
"We've got some of the best water in Texas and we want to keep it that way," Allen said.
Advertising priority in new COC budget
By CLINT FOSTER
As part of the Mineral Wells budget bonanza on Tuesday night and in addition to approving the City’s own budget for the upcoming fiscal year, the City Council unanimously approved their portion of the Mineral Wells Chamber of Commerce tourism budget as well.
Although the chamber is expecting slightly less in hotel occupancy tax revenue – down from $195,000 to $180,000 – the chamber made plans to dip into its reserves and increase its budget for the 2014 fiscal year from $213,108 to $230,318.