Ben Pawlak wants to make sure Rosenberg City Council members think hard before lowering the tax rate. At the second of two public hearings on the proposed fiscal year 2020 tax rate held at a special city council meeting Tuesday, Pawlak spoke against the proposed rate.

Earlier this month, council came to a consensus to lower the tax rate a cent and a half. The proposed budget was prepared utilizing a 41.5 cents per $100 valuation tax rate applied to the certified taxable property values. The current tax rate is 43 cents.

According to city staff, this tax rate is made up of two components: the debt service rate and the maintenance and operations rate. The proposed FY 2020 debt service rate is allocated at 16.43 cents and the M&O rate is 25.07 cents.

“I just think we need to keep the money,” Pawlak said.

“You’re not putting anybody in a rollback position. You’re not having a tax increase. I think we need the money.

“We’ve got many problems. We’ve got problems with junk cars that never get picked up. We got filthy alleys that never get cleaned up, trash in the yards, cars parked in the yards.

“That’s just absurd to have a car parked in your yard. I’m begging you guys to leave it. I’m asking you please leave the tax rate alone.” Mayor Bill Benton said he appreciated Pawlak’s comments, but his opinion had not been swayed.

“We’ve had a lot of new value added and we deal with the citizens,” Benton explained.

“Citizens like yourself.

“I think we can make ends meet around here even with a small 1.5-cent tax reduction.”

“Well, mayor, that’s your opinion,” council member Isaac Davila interjected.

“That’s not fact.

“I’ve gone through my district, which is the poorest district in town, and there’s several issues that have not been addressed.”

On Sept. 3, council is scheduled to approve the 2020 fiscal year budget, ratify the budget and adopt the tax rate.

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