The budget for the city of Midland could see increase in tax rate

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Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 6:24 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) -The Midland City Council approved the budget for 2023-24 fiscal year. This budget includes upgrades for infrastructure and city facilities but, it could come with a tax increase.

“I’m not comfortable with the 353 rates, that is 7.4% above the no-new revenue rate. I am not comfortable putting my hand in the taxpayer’s pockets for those last few pennies.” said Midland City Council At-Large, Dan Corrales.

Most of the city council members agreed that being too conservative could have a negative effect on the future city council and residents of Midland.

Which is why most of them agreed to increase the tax rate.

However, the city recently announced that this months sales tax revenue hit a record high $6.6 million dollars.

Which led to some council members not being on board with the increase.

“Over six million dollars that just came in, we’re expected to be over 11-million dollars. That sales tax comes from people that don’t just live in midland, but also people that visit. So, if we can help give the people that live in Midland a bit of a tax break, that’s what they elected me to do and I have to listen to the people that voted me in,” said Corrales.

The total general fund is a little over $168 million dollars.

Fifty-three percent of the total budget goes toward the Midland Fire and Police Departments.

Some of the council members say cuts could be done.

“Sales tax is not a reliable collection revenue stream in the way that property tax is for the city. And so if we’re depending upon an unreliable revenue stream, to balance our budget, we need to make sure we don’t have any wants in there.” said Midland Mayor, Lori Blong.

The other 47% goes toward community services, engineering, development services, general services and more.

Some of the other priorities recommended were making Midland a premier city in West Texas, using the funds to create a high performing city team, and creating a strong economy with more quality jobs.

Today’s discussion wasn’t an official decision, the city will continue to look into if there are other areas where cuts can be made to avoid increasing the tax rate..