City Council Approves On First Reading Residential Homestead Tax Exemption Ordinance

Sulphur Springs City Council Tuesday night, April 3, 2022, approved on first reading an ordinance providing for a residential homestead property tax exemption. The ordinance must be approved by the City Council on second and final reading before it is officially adopted.

Lesa Smith, finance director/assistant city manager

Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Lesa Smith reminded the City Council of the information she presented to them regarding the topic during the April 5 council meeting. At that time, Mayor John Sellers asked that a proposal for a residential homestead property tax exemption be included on the agenda as an action item at the May meeting, in order to fit the timeline for the ordinance to take affect in October for the 2022 tax year, provided the council approves it.

Smith explained that she left the percentage of exemption blank on first reading, pending further discussion and guidance from the City Council regarding how much the exemption would be for.

City staff recommended approving a homestead exemption for the greater of $5,000 or whatever percent of appraised value on the homestead to help city residents. The percentage allowable could be up to 20%, the City Council was advised.

Smith said in figuring potential impacts, she did receive preliminary tax values from the Appraisal District May 3, 2022, but had yet updated the projects to reflect growth of net taxable value within the city as she had a few questions she plans to get clarification for most accurate information in the updates using preliminary values.

Place 5 City Councilman Gary Spraggins made a motion Tuesday to adopt Ordinance No. 2797 on first reading, providing for a homestead exemption for the greater of $5,000 or 20% of the appraised value for residential city tax payers. Place 4 Councilman Freddie Taylor seconded the motion, which the council then approved. The ordinance is slated to be presented again for second reading and final approval at the June 7 City Council meeting.

Sulphur Springs Ordinance No. 2797 as proposed and approved on first reading during the May 3, 2022 City Council meeting. The document is slated to be presented again on June 7, 2022, for second and if approved final reading by the City Council.

Author: Faith Huffman

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