(Seguin) -- The economy has been growing exponentially in Seguin over the last several years. Seguin Finance Director Susan Caddell provided the Seguin City Council with a snapshot of how the city has done over the last 15 years. Caddell presented the data as part of the council's meeting on Tuesday.
Caddell says both market and taxable values have grown significantly over the years. The increases have occurred over short term and long term periods. It shows that growth and development has been flourishing in Seguin for the better part of 15 years.
"The first chart compares market and taxable value. I started keeping track of all of this back in 2003 when we started issuing a lot of bonds. So it kind of gives you an idea of the growth that we've seen in both the taxable values, market values and also the tax rates. The first chart compares market and taxable values. The market value has risen from last year by $181,987,000 or 6.81 percent. And the market value has (also) increased since 2003 by 1,000,710,768 or about 150 percent. While taxable value has increased, since 2003, by $1.091 billion or about 135 percent," said Caddell.
Caddell says the growth in the city's values has also led to greater revene growth when it comes to the city's tax levy.
"The tax levy is the amount of revenue that we are expecting for the year. The levy has increased, since last year, by $1.1 million, or 12.88 percent. Since 2003, the levy has increased $6,399,771 or almost 200 percent," said Caddell.
The growth in revenue has allowed the city to largely hold the line on its operations and maintenance tax rate. That portion of the tax rate covers much of the city's regular day to day operations -- minus those expenses that are covered by the city's utility fund. Things like parks, library, fire and police services are all covered by the O&M tax rate.
"I find this kind of interesting -- seeing all the growth that we've had, our O&M rate since 2003 has increased by only .188 cents, or just right around seven percent. So in 15 years, we've only increased the O&M rate by seven percent," said Caddell.
Mayor Kiel suggested that those figures meant that the city was being run effeciently, and Caddell agreed.
"The actual O&M rate from last year has decreased by a little over two cents, or 7.25 percent, said Caddell.
The O&M tax rate has held steady for more than decade, but the overall tax rate has gone up during that time. Caddell says that's based on growth in the city's interest and sinking, or I&S tax rate. This rate covers the city's debt payments. Voters have approved a number of bond projects over the years, including things, like street improvements, park expansion and the new Seguin Public Library. Caddell says those investments in the city's future represent the real growth that has taken place with the city's tax rate.
"The thing that has increased quite a bit, which has increased the tax rate, is the I&S rate. Back in 2003, the I&S rate was 13.16 cents, now it's 25.33 cents. That's about a 92.5 percent increase since 2003. Last year, it was 23.08 cents, and this year, 25.33 (cents). So that's about 2.25 cents (more than last year), or about 9.75 percent. The (overall) tax rate stayed the same as last year. It's just the division of the O&M and I&S rates that changed. Back in 2003, (the overall tax rate) it was right over 40 cents (per $100 of property value), and now it's right over 54 cents. So in 15 years, it's been a 35 percent increase," said Caddell.
The city council each year must officially approve the certified tax roll provided by the Guadalupe County Tax Office. Caddell presented the historical data as part of that approval process Tuesday night.