BY SCOTT REESE WILLEY

Richmond city commissioners voted Monday to keep the 2020 tax rate the same as this year, and called for two public hearings on the proposed rate.

Commissioners voted to keep the property tax rate at 69 cents per $100 value.

Of that amount, just over 17 cents per $100 value has been allocated to pay off long-term debt. A little over 52 cents per $100 value will be allocated to maintenance and operations.

That means the owner of a $100,000 home could expect to pay about $699 in property taxes to the city before exemptions.

The city allows exemptions for residents over 65 and for homesteads.

The tax rate has been reduced annually for the past 10 years, from 79 cents per $100 value in 2009.

However, the property tax base — property that can be taxed by the city — has risen each year over the past 10 years. In 2009, the overall tax base was $363,670,037 and is estimated at $562,107,243 going into 2020.

The average value of a home in Richmond has grown from $92,012 in 2009 to $132,419 going into 2020.

Sixty-four percent of the tax base is commercial property.

Taxes will account for $8.6 million of the $28 million the city expects to raise in 2020. Water and sewer sales will account for $7.8 million, fines and fees $430,000 and licenses and permits $740,000. Other sources of revenue will generate an estimated $3.3 million in revenue.

Sales tax will make up an estimated $4.7 million or so of the $8.6 million in tax revenue in 2020, while property taxes will account for about $3 million, fire protection fees around $2.7 million and franchise taxes about $600,000.

The city’s new finance officer, Justin Alderete, recommended that the city budget conservatively for sales tax revenue. By keeping sales tax revenue projections flat, the city won’t face an unexpected shortfall and will be better off financially, he explained.

Public hearings on the proposed rate have been set for Sept. 3 and Sept. 9.

A budget workshop has been scheduled for Sept. 3.

The commission will also hold a public hearing on the proposed budget on Sept. 9.

The commission is scheduled to vote on the proposed budget and tax rate on Sept. 16.

The city is required to submit its tax rate to the county tax collector-assessor’s office by the end of September and adopt a budget by the beginning of the fiscal year, which is Oct. 1.

The tax rate goes into effect Jan. 1.

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