The pandemic has not only impacted city revenue, but is causing a delay in proposing a tax rate.
During a budget workshop Monday, city officials updated the Coppell City Council on the status of the proposed budget and tax rate.
Officials said per Senate Bill 2, the Dallas Central Appraisal district has a shorter deadline to provide cities with valuations and proposed taxes.
Because of delays related to COVID-19, Coppell has only received certified estimates on the city’s property value and their recommended property tax. While officials expect the displayed tax rate to be higher, it will not be put into effect until the council votes on the new tax in September. The council plans to vote on its tax rate and the 2020-21 budget at its Sept. 8 meeting.
The value under protest by the Dallas Appraisal District is $2.2 billion. The district said that as of now, Coppell can claim 50 percent – a change in the previous year, where the protested value was $200 million, and Coppell was allowed to claim 70 percent.
“The appraisal district said that we will get the final certified values on Aug. 20, which will take care of the bulk of the protested values,” Jennifer Miller, Coppell’s director of finance said. “The certified estimate is what the tax rates are going to be calculated on. This is what we need to publish in our advertisements, so we wanted to show this is where the value came from.”
The current certified estimates indicate that the city dropped in value by 3.5 percent.
Miller said that by current estimates, if the city were to maintain their current revenue, it would need to raise the property tax rate because of the city’s drop in value.
“This evening as part of the workshop, we are laying out the information as we see it based on estimates from the appraisal district,” City Manager Mike Land said. “Based on the no new revenue rate, in order to have the city collect the same revenue this fiscal year, would mean that the rate would go up. Around Aug. 7, the advertisement will be required to posted on our website. So, we will have residents, who don’t necessarily pay attention to the value of their property, see a higher tax rate than what we currently have. Like most of us, they will probably react to this.”
What Land plans to do is give more information so residents know that the rate is not official and that it is based only on estimates.
“Until we have the official numbers on Aug. 20, nobody can really rely on those numbers yet,” Land said. “It doesn’t really mean anything. For the next three weeks, it will look like we raised the tax rate, but we didn’t raise the tax rate.”
Land said that if it were not for COVID-19, Coppell would be on schedule to approve its new tax rate on Aug. 11. However, because Senate Bill 2 did not allow adjustment for the pandemic, the appraisal district was under a crunch to deliver anything, and estimates were all they could deliver.
“Right now, if we know that we will get the numbers Aug. 20, we have a council meeting on Aug. 25. We propose that we can have a work session Aug. 24. That way we will have the numbers with the updated information, and on the 25th, if we move forward with the public hearing, we can vote on the tax and budget in the Sept. 8 meeting.”