The Carrollton City Council adopted its final budget and tax rate Tuesday night.
This year’s tax rate is set at $.589970 per $100 valuation, a half-cent decrease from last year’s rate of $0.594970 per $100 valuation. Due to increased property values, homeowners could still see a higher tax bill.
The budget includes a general fund of about $109.2 million, about a 3.3-percent increase from last year.
Out of the funds, over $74 million is allocated for new programming such as the Neighborhood Partnership Program, community development and park and street projects. About $11.6 million is allocated for non-recurring initiatives and strategic community reinvestment projects.
While there is no solid waste rate increase planned, residents can expect a water and sewer rate increase of about 7.3 percent for fiscal year 2020, effective Jan. 1. Officials said this rate increase will be reevaluated after the fiscal year 2019 results are finalized.
“I’m very proud of how we operate here in the city,” said Mayor Kevin Falconer. “We’ve been effective and efficient. We know that we’re using our resident’s money, and we want to do that in the very best possible fashion.”
This year’s legislative session left cities in a tight spot. Councilman John Sutter said legislators did cities across Texas no favors with some of the bills they passed. He said many bills took away municipalities’ flexibility and may encourage the use of debt, which Carrollton is not interested in doing, he said.
Despite the restrictive policies, the city managed to keep its rate low.
“In comparison to a lot of cities that are in our surrounding area, our staff and our previous and current councils have been able to put policies in place that has put us in a very good situation coming into a lot of changes that have occurred through the State Legislature,” said Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Frances Cruz.
Councilman Steve Babick said this is the sixth year the city has reduced the tax rate. He said the City Council is doing its part to make sure taxpayers’ dollars go the furthest it can and to make sure it’s taking care of residents.
“The budget is ultimately one of our primary responsibilities as a council,” Babick said “...Ultimately our vision as council is to be the community families and businesses want to call home.”