WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita Falls City Council met this morning, Tuesday, August 15, 2023, to discuss various propositions including scooter regulations, tax rates and funding for Howmet.

Please visit the council’s website for any additional information on these updates.

Tax Rates

Financial relief is on the way for homeowners in Wichita Falls. For the second year in a row, the City Council is on the verge of lowering the property tax rate.

Currently, the tax rate is 0.69432 which exceeds the voter approval rate of 0.685010.

After hearing a proposed budget for the next fiscal year, it was recommended to councilors they accept a proposed rate of 0.680000.

Councilors unanimously adopted the recommendation for the proposed rate and will hold a public tax rate hearing before voting on implementation Tuesday, September 5, 2023.

The city’s budget will be slightly decreased for the new fiscal year compared to last year, but Mayor Stephen Santellana said it shouldn’t affect city operations.

“It’s incumbent upon us to try to make sure that we can hold that rate as long as we can because there are times that, you know, economic times, that we’re not able to do that,” Santellana said. “But we’ve been able to do that, and that just shows citizens we’re being good stewards of their taxpayer dollars.”

The mayor also said he hopes citizens’ wallets feel some relief after the city sees increased property values.

“We run a pretty tight ship,” he continued. “You know, we have a really thin budget, but we’re able to do a lot with that budget. We’ve got to service the citizens 365 [days], 24/7, and, you know, holding that tax rate. I think I hope people appreciate that. You know, sometimes I wish it could be more. But, truthfully, there’s a lot of projects that are going unfunded because we continue to tighten our belts and hold that tax rate.”


The City Council also voted on adjustments to the scooters ordinance.

Now, operators are no longer limited to just 20 mobility devices.

The boundaries of where the scooters can go have expanded as well. Scooters can now travel as far as Burnet St and north of Kell.

Additionally, speed limitations have been changed. They can now reach up to 25 miles per hour, should a driver choose to do so.

Lastly, hours of operation have been expanded from 6 a.m. to midnight.


Howmet is now closer to receiving state funds to help improve its footprint in the area.

Councilors also approved a resolution that nominates the aerospace-tech company to receive funds through the Texas Enterprise Zone Program, which is funded through the state sales tax.

“There [are] all kinds of things that are out there that entities need from us, the approval from council,” Santellana said. “We’re glad to do that. Howmet [has been] such a great community partner for a lot of years.

The funds would allow the company to keep jobs in the city and encourage other economic development.

“We want them to expand their footprint, hire more people, you know, make as much money as they can out there because they’ve been such a good community partner for so many years,” the mayor said. “[We] want to make sure that we help them check that box off.”

The council’s approval of the resolution puts Howmet a step closer to receiving that funding.