On Mar. 28, the Anna City Council discussed a resolution for supporting House Bill 1427. HB 1427 was brought to legislation for consideration because The Colony denied an electric company a permit for a substation. In the beginning, the electric company did not comply with the city development standards. The electric company appealed to the state agency for utilities. The agency approved it, bypassing the city regulations and, in turn, removing control from the city. Mayor Mike Crist said he does not like the state taking control away from cities. “We don’t like the erosion of local control or state agencies overriding city regulation,” Crist said.
The House Bill 1427 was unanimously approved. The bill clarifies that the state law does not exclude utilities from city codes — effectively giving the control back to the city.
The City Council also approved a resolution opposing Senate Bill 2. This bill would lower the rollback tax rate from 8 percent to 4 percent, and if a newly adopted tax rate causes the revenue to increase more than 4 percent, the city has to hold an election to approve it. The other option would be to cap the revenue at 4 percent. The City Council is opposing it due to the fact that the city is growing. Along with that growth, the city staff must grow to maintain the same quality of service for the citizens.
Changes in revenue could happen for a few reasons: higher property values on existing properties, newly developed properties or an increase in the tax rate. If any of these changes make the revenue exceed 4 pecent, then there must be an election. This could prove problematic for a growing city such as Anna. By forcing an election every time it exceeds the 4 percent, it would make the city incur a $3000 to $5000 expense.
The county appraisal district raises the rate on existing properties 10 percent every year; this is what is making citizens have to pay more taxes. Crist said this has no effect on the city revenue. “Limiting the city revenue still won’t lower or have a meaningful impact on a person’s tax rate,” Crist said.
Adopting SB 2 would have less of an effect on the residents of Anna but more of an effect on the city. It would save homeowners around $58 a year. However, that savings would cost the entire city a drop in the budget by more than $224,000.