The Robstown City Council unanimously approved the first readings of its proposed budget and tax rate on Monday.

City Secretary Paula Wakefield said the addition of new staff positions during the current fiscal year, along with higher expenses for some departments, led to a preliminary 2010-11 budget being $568,909 higher than what the city is expected to receive in revenue.

Preliminary revenue estimates show the city receiving about $8.3 million in revenue for the new fiscal year. That would be an increase over the $7.6 million received during the 2009-10 fiscal year.

However, the proposed expenses currently sit at $8.9 million.

Wakefield said she would work with all of the city's department heads to make cuts in their expenses, which may include staff, in order to balance the budget before the final reading and approval from the council on Sept. 13.

"We will have a balanced budget," she said.

The council also unanimously approved the first reading of the proposed tax rate of .974728 cents per $100 valuation. This is lower than the current tax rate of .999748 cents per $100 valuation, but is still a tax increase due to it being higher than the effective tax rate of .918746 cents per $100 valuation.

The proposed 2010-11 Tax Rate would also bring in more tax revenue due to an increased tax base, Wakefield said. It includes .706509 cents per $100 valuation for the general fund, and .268219 cents per $100 valuation for debt service.

The city's tax base, according to a report provided to council members Monday, is expected to jump from $242.9 million last year to $260.7 million for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

The city council must still conduct a second and final reading of both the proposed 2010-11 Tax Rate and budget on Sept. 13 in order for both to become official.