The McKinney City Council on Tuesday approved adopting the budget for the upcoming fiscal year and adopting a no-new-revenue tax rate.
“This would be the first time in history, at least in my history here, that that rate has been adopted.” McKinney Chief Financial Officer Mark Holloway said.
Budget approval came after multiple council members discussed police department funding.
“We got a lot of emails about asking, making sure that we would support our police and fire departments and not defund anything, and so I’m happy to say that we’ve actually increased the funding for our police and our fire, so thank you for that,” Mayor Pro Tem Rainey Rogers said.
Councilman La’Shadion Shemwell characterized Rogers’ comment as a “jab.” He said people were calling to reinvest police budgets in other programs, using mental health or after school programs as an example.
Shemwell also mentioned that the city had been designated as one of the safest cities in Texas of its size.
“So clearly we don’t need more police, because we’re already doing a great job of that,” Shemwell said.
Councilman Rick Franklin said he is a believer in law and order and that he felt Rogers’s comment was not a jab.
“I don’t think you need to take away from the police department to create other positions,” Franklin said.
Councilman Frederick Frazier, who is also a Dallas Police Association vice president, thanked Rogers for his comment.
“We don’t want to become some of these towns that thought ‘Oh, let’s lay off the gas and not keep our town safe,’” he said. “We want to continue to up the bar to keep our town the safest.”
The council unanimously approved the budget. It also approved a tax rate of 50.8645 cents per $100 of appraised valuation. According to the current adopted budget, the 2019-2020 tax rate was 51.56 cents.
Property taxes account for 55% of general fund revenues in the 2020-21 budget, according to Holloway’s presentation. Police account for the largest chunk of general fund expenditures at $40,789,865, or 26%. General government and fire expenditures follow at 22% and 21%, respectively.
The budget includes added staffing positions across multiple departments, including six new police department positions. That includes adding four first responders, one school resource officer sergeant and one mental health coordinator.
The budget also provides for adding two new firefighter/paramedics and one nurse practitioner for the fire department.