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Posted on: August 12, 2021

Shenandoah City Council Meeting August 11, 2021 Update

Supporting Documents for Agenda Items can be found HERE.

Missed the Council meeting? Check out our YouTube channel and watch at your convenience. 

Attendance: Present:  Mayor Ritch Wheeler, Mayor Pro Tem Charlie Bradt (Position 4),  Mike McLeod (Position 5),   John Escoto (Position 3), Ted Fletcher (Position 2) and Ron Raymaker (Position 1)        

ITEM 7: 2021 Tax Rate -   There must be a recorded vote if the council wants to allow an option to approve a tax rate above the effective tax rate or no higher than the effective tax rate. The 2020 tax rate is $0.1799 per $100 valuation. The  2021  certified  appraised taxable value  is  1,183,471,553.  The no-new-revenue tax rate  (NNR which was formerly known as the effective tax rate) of $0.1737 generates the same tax dollars this year as it did in 2020.  This is the first year since the city adopted a $0.1799 tax rate in 2018 that the NNR has been below the city’s current tax rate. The city’s current tax rate is lower than all other Montgomery County cities, The Woodlands Township, and the county. By voting to allow a tax rate above the NNR does not mean the city must go above the NNR but will keep the option for the city to remain at the $0.1799 rate or to go with the NNR.  A  public hearing is required if the council explores adopting a  rate that exceeds the lower of the no-new-revenue or voter-approval rate. It’s important to note that only one public hearing is required under the new SB 2 provisions and the rate can be adopted at the same meeting if properly noticed. This will be set for the August 25 meeting.   Council voted 4-1 to approve a tax rate above the NNR of $0.1737 which triggers a public hearing on August 25. Councilmember Fletcher voted nay.

ITEMS  8: Vehicle Maintenance -  Following resident complaints, Councilmember Ted Fletcher proposed an ordinance on vehicle maintenance on residential property.  After a discussion, Council asked staff to continue to work on definitions, time limitations, and requirements to create a fair, enforceable document that will be meaningful and fair to all residents of the city.  No action needed; discussion only.

ITEM 9: 2021-2022 Proposed Budget  - third meeting discussion of items on the 2021-2022 proposed budget. Items discussed:

  •    Updates from second Budget Discussion: none
  • General Questions: Asked if a requested skid loader in the 21-22 budget could be purchased now by reallocation of available funds. Staff was directed to bring the proposal back to Council for action in this fiscal budget.
  • The individual budgets that will be discussed will be:
    •    Public Works: lowered by changing fire inspection-related items to Community Development
    •     Pool: lowered by changing fire inspection-related items to Community Development; change from saltwater to chlorinated pool
    •    Parks: lowered by changing fire inspection-related items to Community Development; no tennis court backboards needed
    •     Water & Sewer; decrease as no major projects at this time
    •     Utility Billing: reduction of printing costs; looking at options for credit card payment fees

The 2021-2022 proposed operating budget can be found here. 

Discussion; no Council action needed.

ITEM 10:  Tax Assessor Certification- Each year the  Tax  Assessor/Collector provides the excess collections for the previous year and certifies the debt collection rate for the upcoming year.  This is required by the Truth-in-Taxation laws and must be formally accepted by the Council.  

  •  (a) For 2020,  excess debt collections were $0.00. Per the Tax Assessor, the 2020 amount “is to be used in the 2021 debt tax calculation because the 2020 actual debt calculation rate met the anticipated 2020 debt collection rate, which was equal to 100%”. 
  •  (b)The Tax Assessor/Collector estimated the debt service collection rate for 2021 to be 100% “as calculated under Sec. 26.012(2)”. The collection rate is determined by estimating the City’s debt collections from July 1 through June 30 of the next year. The estimate includes  ALL  tax dollars collected including delinquent taxes.  The exact amount will not be known until the collection period closes; however, the Truth-in-Taxation laws require an estimate be provided to, and approved by the Council.  The collection rate is calculated by dividing the estimated collections by the required debt payments.  If the estimated collection rate is less than 100%, the debt levy will be higher. If the collection rate exceeds 100% (caused by delinquent taxes from previous years) the Tax Assessor/Collector uses 100%.  

Council voted 5-0  to approve both the excess debt collection and certification of the collection rate for the upcoming year.

ITEM 11:  Approval of June 9, 2021 Minutes- Council voted 5-0 to approve the minutes.

City Administrator Updates

  • None

Executive Session:  None scheduled

 The meeting was adjourned at 7:53  pm.


Upcoming Events/Meetings

August 12: Budget Workshop, Session 1, 6 pm

August 14: Shenandoah Farmer's Market, Metropark Square, 10 am - 1 pm

August 17: Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission, 6 pm

August 19: Budget Workshop, Session 2 (if needed), 6 pm

August 24: Municipal Development District (MDD), 6 pm

August 24: City Council, 7 pm

September 6: Labor Day holiday, city offices closed

September 7: Special Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Meeting, 6 pm

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