Rollback to the Future

Citizens petition council for tax election


At tonight's (Thursday) Gonzales City Council meeting, officials will be asked to consider calling a special election to invalidate the city's tax rate. This would insure less taxation on the local population while equaling less revenue for city coffers.

At issue is the city's tax rate of .3050 cents per $100 of property valuation. Back in September, council set the “rollback” tax rate — the tax rate at which a city cannot exceed without triggering a possible election by voters to “roll back” the tax rate to earlier numbers — to .4639 cents, which was higher than the proposed tax rate. However, a judge ruled that the city was wrong in its calculations and ordered a new rollback rate to be found, which the city settled at .2248.

A group of Gonzales citizens seized the opportunity and passed around a petition to challenge the tax rate, hoping they would collect enough signatures to force a vote. A petition needs 10 percent of registered city voters to succeed, which is 366. The petition gathered 571 signatures, of which 492 were validated by the city secretary, thus paving the way for a council appearance.

The petition was filed with the city secretary on Dec. 21 and council took action at a special meeting on Dec. 27 to acknowledge receipt. Council will now decide to move forward on a potential rollback election, which would be held March 9. Then, voters would be asked to vote for or against “reducing the tax rate in the City of Gonzales for the current year from $0.3050 to $0.2248.”

In other business, council will:

  • Hear a presentation on the final report issued by the charter review commission;
  • Take possible action on any measures proposed for the home rule charter of the city;
  • Hold a workshop to discuss the special event license policy and street use license policy and associated fees;
  • Enter into closed session to hear information regarding litigation in the estate of J.B. Wells and delinquent HOT funds from Guerra Properties.

Council meets at city hall at 6 p.m.