Budgets are important to keep a town, city, state, or nation progressive. Places that have higher tax rates are expected to have a better way of life.
But who creates these budgets? Do taxpayers have a say on the budget created by governing bodies? Does the Reformed Property Code of Texas change the way the Adoption of Budget goes?
Adoption of Budget
Adoption of Budget is the formal process where a governing body approves a budget. Besides cities and states, businesses also adopt a budget. This is to ensure they can maintain their facilities and services.
For example, the state of Texas has a budget meant for building and maintaining public infrastructure.
But where do they get the money?
The government’s budget comes from us, the taxpayers. It comes from the annual tax we pay—from property, income, and product taxes. The governing body of the state of Texas has a formal process to come up with the budget.
This happens every year and is done at a certain point.
By August 29, the budget officer should have filed the proposed budget. They are normally accompanied by the city’s municipal clerk. This happens if the city plans to wait until September 29 to adopt the tax rate.
By September 1, the city should have provided a notice to the taxpayers. It should either be in the form of a publication or a mail. Included in this notice is the proposed tax rate.
Governing bodies should also publish a notice of tax rate public hearings. The first hearing normally takes place during the 23rd day of September. Hearings are held for a second and third time on the 26th and 28th of the month.
Public hearings are done when you want to appeal your property tax. It can lower your tax rate for the year and may help you save money. But it’s important to note that you won’t be able to do it alone.
If you want to appeal your property tax, approach a professional. You’ll have more chances of winning the case with them by your side.
The city should be able to adopt a budget by September 29 and no later.
The exact process takes place after the conclusion of a public hearing. The governing body of the municipality will take action on the proposed budget. A vote will then happen to adopt the budget.
The vote must be recorded.
Changes can be done by the governing body if they see it fit. But changes should be warranted by the law. It should also be in the best interest of the taxpayers.
Another vote is needed if the budget requires raising more revenue from the previous year’s property tax. It is essential to ratify the increase of the property tax which is reflected in the budget.
Adoption of budget requires a cover letter. It must include several elements, including the following:
- A statement that describes the adoption of budget accurately. There are options for the statement, and the governing body should choose one.
- The recorded vote of each member of the governing body by name
- The municipal property tax rates from the previous fiscal years
- Municipal property tax rate that is adopted or calculated from the current year
Why Is It Important to Know the Adoption of Budget Process?
As a common taxpayer, you don’t really have that much say about the budget of the city. But it is still your right to know where your tax goes. Knowing the process of adoption of budget is one step towards that.
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