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Financial Transparency
Financial transparency and accountability are critical components of good stewardship of taxpayer resources. In support of the open government philosophy, the City of Sealy has established this comprehensive online resource for citizens to review a variety of government information. The city’s commitment is to provide clear and meaningful public information by posting financial documents, summaries, visualizations, downloadable data, and other relevant information.
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  • The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the City of Sealy for its comprehensive annual financial report for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2016. This was the 23rd year that the City of Sealy government has achieved this prestigious award. In order to be awarded a Certificate of Achievement, a government must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized comprehensive annual financial report. This report must satisfy both generally accepted accounting principles and applicable legal requirements.

     

    A Certificate of Achievement is valid for a period of one year only.

      

    GFOA's Certificate of Achievement Program

    (Click on image above to view a larger version.)

    Since the inception of the Leadership Circle program, the public expectation for government transparency has changed dramatically. Taxpayers now demand more advanced features, such as downloadable datasets and new visual representations of information. In 2016, the Comptroller’s office adapted to these changing times by implementing its new “Transparency Stars” program, which recognizes local governments that go above and beyond previous standards for open government by:

     

    • opening their books not only in their traditional finances, but also in the areas of contracts and procurement, economic development, public pensions, and debt obligations.
    • providing clear and meaningful financial information not only by posting financial documents, but also through summaries, visualizations, downloadable data, and other relevant information.
    Traditional Finances

    On October 5, 2016, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced that the City of Sealy was the latest local government entity to achieve specific transparency goals through the Comptroller’s Transparency Stars program. The City of Sealy received a star in the area of Traditional Finances, which recognizes entities for their outstanding efforts in making their spending and revenue information available.

     

    Transparency Stars recognizes local government entities that provide easy online access to important financial data.

     

    “By providing meaningful financial data in addition to visual tools and analysis of its revenues and expenditures, the City of Sealy has shown a true commitment to Texas taxpayers. This effort achieves the goals set by my office’s Transparency Stars program,” Hegar said. “I am pleased to award the City of Sealy a star for its accomplishments.”

     

    The Comptroller’s office launched the Transparency Stars program in March 2016 to recognize cities, counties, and school districts making important strides to greater government transparency. Local government entities can apply for stars in the areas of:

     

    • Traditional Finances,
    • Contracts and Procurement,
    • Economic Development,
    • Public Pensions, and
    • Debt Obligations.

     

    After receiving an initial star for Traditional Finances, remaining stars may be awarded in any order. For more information on the program, including specific guidelines and information on how to apply, visit the Comptroller’s Transparency Stars website.

    In December 2009, the Texas Comptroller established the “Leadership Circle” program to promote financial transparency in local government. Each year since 2010, the City of Sealy has attained that program’s highest rating by providing online access to its information in an easily accessible, user-friendly format. This, in turn, has promoted greater accountability and provided citizens with information on how their tax dollars are allocated and spent.

     

    This program was discontinued in 2016 with the inception of the Texas Comptroller's "Transparency Stars" program.

     

     City of Sealy's Leadership Circle Awards
    •  2010
     Gold Level Award
    •  2011
     Gold Level Award
    •  2012
     Gold Level Award
    •  2013
     Gold Level Award
    •  2014
     Platinum Level Award
    •  2015
     Platinum Level Award
  • The data presented here is taken from the City of Sealy’s latest audited government-wide Statement of Activities.

     

    The government-wide Statement of Activities for a government entity is equivalent to the income statement of a for-profit business.

     

    The government-wide Statement of Activities can be found in the city’s comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) and reports the results of the city’s operations on an accrual basis of accounting.

     

    Under the accrual basis of accounting, revenues are recorded when earned and expenses are recorded when a liability is incurred, regardless of the timing of related cash flows.

     

    Within the government-wide Statement of Activities, governmental activities are reported separately from business-type activities but are then combined to provide totals for the entire government.

     

    Governmental activities are those which normally are supported by taxes, intergovernmental revenues (e.g., grants), and other nonexchange transactions.

     

    Business-type activities are those which rely to a significant extent on fees and charges to external customers for support (e.g., utility fees).

  • This is the fiscal year 2017-2018 budget presented in a machine-readable, or raw, format. It allows users to perform analysis on the data. The budget document posted here is in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format and can be utilized by any software program capable of reading XLSX or CSV formats.

     

    Budget data is from the original budget adopted by City Council on September 26, 2017, and has not been updated for any budget amendments adopted after that date.

    These registers contain all disbursements made by the city, including paper checks and electronic payments to vendors. Employee net salary information is presented monthly by department in summary form only.

      

    Please note that the links to these registers will open in a new browser window or tab from a website powered by the OpenGov platform. There are several buttons located in the upper right-hand corner of that website which will assist the user in using the site and analyzing the registers. The "Help" button includes a welcome message with an optional tour on navigating the site, a short guide to multi-fund accounting, an animated how-to guide on using the reports, and a form for contacting the City of Sealy. The "Download" button allows the user to export the report data in CSV format for additional analysis. Finally, the "Share" button allows users to share the reports via Facebook, Google, Twitter, and email.

  • Property (or "ad valorem") tax is a levy issued by a local government on real or personal property. The property is assessed to give it a value, and then that value is taxed. In Texas, the amount of tax owed is determined by multiplying the value of the property by the current tax rate and dividing by 100, as the rates are expressed per $100 of taxable property valuation.

     

    In September of each year, the governing bodies of the local taxing units decide what services they will provide and how much money they will need. They adopt their respective unit budgets and set the property tax rates for the year that will provide the needed revenues to fund those services.

     

    The City of Sealy contracts with the Austin County Appraiser District to function as the city's tax assessor-collector. By October 1 or as soon thereafter as practicable each year, the district prepares the property tax bills and mails them to all property owners listed on the tax roll or to their agents. The district also collects the taxes and then remits them to the city.
    Tax Year 2017:  

     Maintenance & Operations (M&O)

     $0.19041 per $100 valuation

     Interest & Sinking (I&S), or Debt Service    

     $0.23256 per $100 valuation 

     Total Rate

     $0.42297 per $100 valuation 


    NOTE: The considerable increase in the 2015 property tax rate was due to an increase in the debt service component of the tax rate that resulted from the city’s issuance of $15 million in Series 2015 Combination Tax and Revenue Certificates of Obligation.

    Texas imposes a state sales tax on all retail sales, leases, and rentals of most goods, as well as taxable services. Texas cities, counties, transit authorities, and special purpose districts have the option of imposing an additional local sales tax. Texas also imposes a use tax when purchasers buy taxable goods and services for use in Texas and the seller does not charge Texas sales tax or does not charge the correct amount of Texas sales tax. The use tax rates are the same as the state and local sales tax rates. Sales and use taxes are collected by the state and forwarded to the City of Sealy on a monthly basis.

     

    • What is the maximum sales tax rate that can be charged on a sale of taxable goods or services in Texas?

     

    The sales tax rate charged by the state on the sale of each taxable item in the state is 6.25% of the sales price of the taxable item. (Tex. Tax Code Sec. 151.051) In addition to the state’s 6.25% sales tax rate, local taxing entities (cities, counties, transit authorities, and special purpose districts) can collectively claim an additional 2.00% tax rate, for a total maximum tax rate of 8.25% in any given location. (Tex. Tax Code Sec. 321.101(f)) Whether or not the sales tax rate is “maxed out” in a given city depends on what sales taxes have been adopted by the city, in addition to what sales taxes have been adopted by the other taxing entities that overlap with the city.

       

    The breakdown of the sales tax rate within the city limits of Sealy is as follows:

     State of Texas

     6.25%

     Austin County

     0.50%

     City of Sealy

     1.50

     Total Rate

     8.25%

    • What is the sales tax for general revenue?

     

    The sales tax for general revenue is a tax that may be levied by a city on all taxable items sold in the city. The revenues from the tax may be spent on almost any lawful purpose of the city. Within the city limits of Sealy, the sales tax rate for general revenue is currently set at 1.00%.

     

    • What are sales taxes for dedicated purposes?

     

    All city sales taxes, other than the sales tax for general revenue, are considered sales taxes for dedicated purposes. As the name implies, each of these taxes may only be spent on certain, or dedicated, items or projects. Cities may have a mix of different dedicated taxes, in addition to the general revenue sales tax, so long as the total tax rate in the city does not exceed 8.25%.

     

    Examples of dedicated sales taxes include those for economic development, street maintenance, venue districts, crime control and prevention districts, and property tax relief.

     

    Currently, the City of Sealy has a dedicated sales tax for economic development, and that tax rate is set at 0.50%.

    Hotel occupancy tax is imposed on the rental of a room or space in a hotel costing $15 or more each day. The tax applies not only to hotels and motels, but also to bed and breakfasts, condominiums, apartments, and houses. Local hotel taxes apply to sleeping rooms costing $2 or more each day.

      

    Persons leasing their houses, or rooms in their house, must collect the tax from their customers in the same way a hotel or motel collects the tax from its guests. Property management companies, online travel companies, and other third-party rental companies may also be responsible for collecting the tax.

     

    The Texas Comptroller's office collects and administers the state hotel tax, while the City of Sealy is responsible for collecting its own local hotel tax. Local establishments remit the local taxes they collect to the city on a quarterly basis.

    Tax Rates for City of Sealy only:      

     State of Texas

     6.00%

     City of Sealy

     7.00%

     Total Rate

     13.00%


  • Current members of the City Council, along with their contact information, are listed below.
     Office  Name/Contact Email
     Mayor
     Janice Whitehead
     Councilmember, Place 1
     Dee Anne Lerma
     Councilmember, Place 2  Chris Noack
     Councilmember, Place 3 / Mayor Pro-Tem  Sandra Vrablec
     Councilmember, Place 4  Jennifer Sullivan
     Councilmember, Place 5  Larry W. Koy
     Councilmember, Place 6
     John Hinze



    The City Secretary’s office is responsible for the care and maintenance of all City records. These records include all City Council minutes, agendas, ordinances, resolutions, deeds, easements, plats, contracts, and historical information. The City Secretary is designated as the City’s Records Management Officer by City ordinance. This designation makes the City Secretary responsible for developing and administering a records retention and destruction policy, monitoring the records storage area, and overseeing the control of electronically stored records. In addition to these responsibilities, the City Secretary responds to numerous requests for City records filed each year under the Texas Public Information Act.

    If you need to view or obtain copies of public information in the custody of the City of Sealy, you must complete a Request for Public Information form and submit it to the attention of the City Secretary using any of these methods:

     

               In Person:     City Hall
     415 Main Street
     Sealy, TX  77474-2232

               By Mail:  City of Sealy
     P. O. Box 517
     Sealy, TX  77474-0517

               By Fax:  (979) 885-3513

               By Email:  Dayl Cooksey, City Secretary
     
    In obtaining copies of public information, please be aware that there are fees associated with providing the information. Be sure to review the City’s schedule of Public Records Charges for a listing of these fees.

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