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      Peitas looking to raise taxes to offset growing pains

      Each month more businesses call Peitas home, but the city is having a hard time keeping up with infrastructure to accommodate growth.

      Part of the answer, according to the city council is higher taxes, but residents are not convinced.

      In the past few months, Aaron's and Dollar Tree are two of many new stores that popped up along Expressway 83 within the city.

      "The city has gone from 1065 population to 5400," City Administrator Noe Cavazos said.

      But the impressive growth highlighted the challenges Peitas faces, such as the demand for more and better services.

      "We TMre expanding, we need more staff," Cavazos said. When you have five times more population you need a bigger police department force.

      To keep up, the Peitas City Council proposed a ten cent hike in property taxes, raising it to 46 cents for every 100 dollars.

      Though it may not seem much, by contrast, the city raised property taxes only six cents in the past 12 years.

      "Maybe next year we can roll back and if we can roll back next year we most definitely will," he said.

      More than a dozen people voiced their opposition Friday night during a hearing on the tax hike.

      They say the ten cent increase in one year is too much.

      "If they could just do it in smaller increments I think that would be good for this whole community," resident Adan Ochoa said.

      If approved the tax hike would bring in nearly $150,000.

      The city said the money would help pay for sewage service, as well as a new splash park, and more resources for the police and fire departments.

      The public hearing on Friday was the first of several on the issue.

      The city council will vote on the proposal September 25.