Allen’s proposed 2021-22 budget was presented to the Allen City Council on Tuesday evening, and should it be passed without revision, would include total expenditures of nearly $300 million.
The 246-page budget proposal sets budgetary projections for the 2021-22 fiscal year and addresses every facet of the city’s operations. Below are five significant takeaways from the budget.
Taxes are going down… sort of
In accordance with recent changes to state law, the city is endeavoring to reach a “no-new-revenue” (NNR) property tax, a tax in which the total taxpayer burden of this year does not increase compared to the prior year, with the exception of new properties. While the NNR tax rate for the upcoming budget cycle is still being calculated, officials estimate that it lies at roughly $0.47 per $100 valuation.
The 2021-22 budget includes a proposed tax rate of $0.481 per $100, a decrease from the last fiscal year’s tax rate of $0.485 per $100.
Still, this does not guarantee that property owners in the city will foot a lighter tax bill. The Collin County Central Appraisal District found that Allen’s city limits include $15.76 billion worth of taxable properties, an $800 million (5.36%) increase from last year’s $14.96 billion. In this proposed budget, an average single-family house has an estimated value of $389,455, which is roughly $20,000 higher than last year’s valuation of $369,743.
So while the city’s tax rate would decrease under this proposed budget, a lower tax burden is not guaranteed.
Debts are being paid
The upcoming fiscal year will include an outstanding debt of $108.9 million, and the total projected debt payment for this budget cycle is $16.3 million. Nearly $4.37 million of this is an interest payment.
Merit-based raises are included
A merit-based raise of 0-4% is included in the budget for “general schedule” city employees. This includes public safety workers such as police officers and firefighters, a cohort which, as the budget states, has been under this compensation structure for several years.
Hotel tax revenue is expected to plummet
“The event, tourism and convention industries experienced one of the most acute impacts of COVID-19 as reflected in the 2022 budget,” the budget proposal stated. “Though a drop in this revenue was expected, an existing fund balance is available to help the city of Allen weather the storm. Additionally, we are encouraged by a recent uptick in local event, tourism and convention planning as more individuals and industries show eagerness to travel and/ or gather.”
The city’s 7% hotel occupancy tax is projected to take in $1.5 million of revenue against nearly $2.2 million in expenses (many of which are used to fund Allen’s Convention and Visitors Bureau) in the next fiscal year.
It hasn’t gone into effect yet
The Allen City Council will convene on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. to deliberate further on the proposed budget and its accompanying tax rate. Residents will be able to provide input through the meeting’s public comment hearing.
More information on the budget can be found online at allennews.org/936/Budget-Division.