bloggin' all things brownsville

Monday, August 11, 2008

City Commission to Consider Increases in Employee Medical Plan, Public Hearings for Tax Increase


The Brownsville City Commission will hold a special meeting Tuesday -- 5:30 p.m. executive session and 6 p.m. special meeting.

Agenda items of interest include the following:

EXECUTIVE SESSION
-Attorney Consultation pursuant to Section 551.071, of the Texas Government Code, relating to litigation styled and numbered, BPOA v. City of Brownsville, Texas, Cause No. 2007-06-2918-A (107th District Court – Cameron County) ( Ric Navarro – Legal Counsel – 15 min.)

The Brownsville Police Officers Association sues the City? Could be interesting.

ACTION ITEMS
-Consideration and ACTION to approve the proposed changes to the medical
insurance benefits plan, which also includes increases to the employee and city
contributions. (Pete Gonzalez – Finance)

Whoa. If approved, city employees would see significant increases. Here are a few:

Current Plan
90% Network, 70% Non-network
$200 Network Deductible
$500 Individual Out-of-Pocket Max
$15 Physician Office Visit Co-Pay
RX Co-Pay: $5 Generic, $10 Brand
RX Co-Pay: Specialty/Biotech, $20

Proposed Plan
85% Network, 60% Non-network
$500 Network Deductible
$1,000 Individual Out-of-Pocket Max
$25 Physician Office Visit Co-Pay
RX Co-Pay: $10 Generic, $40 Brand
RX Co-Pay: Specialty/Biotech, $80


-Consideration and ACTION to authorize two public hearings to be held on August 26th and September 2, 2008, to consider an ad valorem tax increase for tax year 2008 or fiscal year 2009 of 6.715%, or an increase .032627 cents or 5.01% over the current tax rate of .650517 cents. (Pete Gonzalez – Finance)

Although Mayor Pat Ahumada’s platform included a promise to not raise taxes, increases have been proposed under his leadership before, including when he was Mayor in 1993 and again last year.

Perhaps the increase is needed. However, some say “accountability is needed before taxes are raised.”

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He will probably go back to the argument that taxes were cut prematurely and irresponsibly before he was elected, so his promise doesn't count.

Anyways, we probably need the tax increase but we also need a new budget workshop process. Start the public workshops earlier in the process and have each and every department head come before the commission to justify their budget and request for additional funds.

Patricia A.

Monday, August 11, 2008  
Anonymous senorita said...

Are you sure Pat Ahumada put the 5% tax increase on the agenda?

They just passed a moratorium on property tax increases several weeks ago and if memory serves me correctly that was Ahumada's initiative. I had to go to the appraisal district two days later and I remember asking one of the commissioners if that meant our taxes wouldn't go up this year. But it was for next year's taxes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008  

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