CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - Corpus Christi's City Council voted Tuesday on a first reading to approve a two-cent tax rate increase in order to raise money to fix residential streets.
Mayor Joe McComb said voters already approved raising money for streets when they approved Charter ammendments in the last election.
It would be a two-cent increase each year for three years. McComb said the plan is to increase the rate from the current almost 60-cent tax rate to 62-cents per $100. That two cents would raise about $3.4 million this year, $6.8 million next year, and about $10 million in the third year.
While McComb said this is the time to raise that money to get a good start on fixing streets, Council Member Michael Hunter said he can't think of a worse time for a tax rate hike.
"There's nobody that hates getting their tax statement bill from Kevin Kieschnick in October with my taxes more than they were the year before, but voters have approved it and I think we're obligated to at least put it out there for them," McComb said.
"We just had a hurricane and we're going to raise taxes," Councilman Hunter said. "I haven't heard anybody out there tell me we need to raise taxes other than to improve their street."
The six-cent increase over the next three years would raise just over $10 million and would be put into a fund that can only be used for streets.
The tax rate still has to be put through two public hearings near the end of September and would have to be approved by Council Sept. 28 in order to take effect for the new budget year, which begins Oct. 1.
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