Allen residents will have a lower tax rate this year after all.
Tuesday the City Council adopted the tax rate for the 2020-21 fiscal year of 48.5 cents per $100 valuation. Last month during a work session the city staff indicated the proposed rate was 48.9 cents.
“Thanks to Allen’s commercial growth, we have been able to lower Allen’s property tax rate from $0.489 to $0.485, even at a time when property appraisals are down and sales tax revenue decreased,” said Mayor Debbie Stout. “This will help minimize the impact felt by homeowners and others invested in Allen while maintaining the high level of services our citizens have come to expect.”
Property tax bills could be higher, however, depending on property values. Chris Landrum, assistant chief financial officer, said assessed property values in the city increased by 3.5 percent.
Also Tuesday the council adopted its 2020-21 budgets.
Allen’s general fund ending balance is projected to be $26 million, which gives the city 87.5 days of operational expenditures in reserve. That falls within the city’s goal of 60-90 days.
Some of the key general fund expenditures proposed this year include $1.6 million in public safety salary increases and $537,298 in salary increases for other positions.
A full-time employee is proposed in the community enhancement division to implement neighborhood activities in accordance with the five-year Community Enhancement Plan.
Sales tax revenue dropped 7 percent from the time the 2019-20 budget was adopted to its current revised version ($43 million to $40 million). The proposed 2020-21 budget projects sales tax revenue to come in at $40.2 million, a 6.6-percent decrease from the original 2019-20 budget.
But the budget states that the assessed property value for 2020-21 is $15 billion, up from last year’s $14.5 billion. Approximately $407 million of that comes from new property.
The city plans to begin several projects in the upcoming fiscal year from the $18.1 million in proceeds received from the 2016 general obligation bond election.
Among those is the Steven G. Terrell Recreation Center at a cost of $14.5 million. The 149,000-square-foot facility will be built on Exchange Parkway, south of Ridgeview Drive. The total cost is $54 million, and it’s expected to be complete by the spring of 2023.
Plans include two gymnasiums featuring three recreation courts with up to eight courts for competitive play.
It will also include indoor play spaces, indoor walk/jog track, areas for weights, cardio and group fitness, an outdoor fitness deck, a café, a kitchen and a child watch area.
Also proposed are $2.2 million for various signal and roadway improvements, including reconstruction of Central Business District Street and improvements to Ridgeview Drive from Cottonwood Creek to Chelsea Boulevard.
Also set to begin in the coming fiscal year are phase 2 of Spirit Park ($500,000), phase 2 of the library retrofit and expansion design ($600,000) and the public art master plan ($367,940).