Mayor address tax, water rate increases

As the Wills Point City Council worked its way through the annual budget, the decision was made to increase our tax rate and the water rate.

The city is faced with a very aged infrastructure. Not too long ago a clay pipe was replaced and that pipe was stamped 1912. The major challenge is how to pay for upgrades and improvements.

The current tax rate of .70 has been in effect since 2005. Inflation, regulations, labor, insurance and materials have all increased annually and we simply cannot continue on the current path without additional funds. The council has taken an in-depth look at what we can do and we are taking small steps to bring us more in line with costs in order to increase our ability to do things. Changing the rate to .75 is the first step toward that.

As an example, it costs over $200,000 to properly repair a quarter mile of road. This means removing what is there, laying a fantastic road bed and then topping the road and finishing it. This number comes from suppliers, not from me. In Wills Point, most of our roads don’t have a road bed. Most roads have evolved over time with the laying of asphalt on top of asphalt. We don’t get to do much each year because of money constraints but the city is systematically improving roads every year. Will this take a long time? Yes. However, we have no other options and are striving to make improvements in small steps but continually moving forward.

The increase will cost about $50 a year for someone owning a home that worth $100,000 and will generate approximately $70,000. With the size of our city, we would have to double our rates to have massive impact and we cannot do that. Our plan is one small step at a time.

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