HALLSVILLE — The Hallsville City Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a reduced tax rate and balanced budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Hallsville City Administrator Marty Byers said Tuesday the city slightly lowered its adopted tax rate for the second year in a row because of a combination of increased appraisal values and new construction on the appraisal roll.

The adopted tax rate is now 37.177 cents per $100 of home value, which would mean a tax bill of $371.77 on a $100,000 home, with no exemptions claimed.

The rate is down nearly half a cent from last year’s rate of 37.601 cents per $100 of home value.

“That would make a tax rate reduction of about $4.24 on a $100,000 home,” Byers told aldermen.

Byers said the interest and sinking rate is 20.828 cents, and the maintenance and operations rate is 16.348 cents per $100 valuation.

The total balanced budget for the city’s general fund budget totaled about $1.69 million, while the balanced water/sewer fund budget totaled about $1.17 million, Byers said.

This year’s adopted budget includes 3% pay raise for all city employees, including police officers, while another 2% merit-based pay raise is available for each employee who sets two professional goals approved by Byers, then goes on to meet those goals.

The city has 19 employees, including police officers, Byers said.

Also in this year’s budget is about $100,000 total for the purchase of a new police cruiser and a new public works vehicle.

This budget also pulls about $130,000 from the city’s garbage collection fund, which has traditionally been used on roads, to use as the matching requirement if the city is awarded a Texas Department of Transportation grant to install a 12-foot-wide sidewalk on the west side of Cider Lane from Cal Young Road to U.S. 80.

”We will probably know about the beginning of the year if we got that grant or not,” Byers said. “We also budgeted about $65,000 to redo the inside of the Waldon Ferry Road water tower.”

The council on Tuesday also canceled the upcoming Nov. 5 election after no one filed to run for the two open alderman seats held by Charlie Hunt and Lauren Bresch. The city’s mayoral seat also was up for election again, but no one filed to run against Mayor Jesse Casey.