Stack of cash

he Colony City Council on Tuesday approved its tax rate and budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

The tax rate will drop from $0.66 per $100 valuation to $0.655.

This is the 18th time in 19 years the city has lowered its tax rate, said Assistant City Manager Tim Miller, and the other time it was left flat.

Over that 19-year period, the average valued home at $305,000 has seen a cumulative reduction of $2,200 in property taxes, Miller said.

The city had typically reduced its tax rate by a quarter cent, but this year it reduced the rate by double that amount.

“We are doing everything we can to keep the tax rate low or lower and still maintain the services that we provide,” Miller said. “There have been no reduction in services throughout these tax cuts, and we have grown exponentially during this entire time we have made these tax cuts. The council has directed these tax cuts.”

Budget

The council also approved its $93 million budget.

Total operating revenue increased by $3.3 million from last year, mainly because of reimbursement from the CARES Act, as well as property tax receipts.

Total operating expenditures increased by $900,000, mainly because of personnel.

Miller said at the council meeting Sept. 4 that the city’s finances are doing well. He said the city’s certified tax roll is $5.3 billion.

He said property tax revenue has increased by $608,584, or 1.8 percent, from $34.1 million to $34.7 million. He said the city is projecting $266.3 million in new construction.

Miller said the valuation of the average home increased by 5 percent to $304,000.

On the general fund side, the city is projecting an unreserved fund balance of $9.9 million.

Miller said the general fund sales tax revenue is up by $1.2 million, or 19 percent, from its amended budget ($6 million to $7.2 million)

Among the expenditures planned for 2020-21 is $7.2 million dedicated to street and alley improvements, striping and signage.

Approximately $4 million is planned for reconstruction of Marsh, John Yates (from Nash to Strickland) and Hendricks. There’s another $1 million for general street, alley and sidewalk maintenance.

“The priorities that people have talked to me about is they continue to want their streets and alleys fixed, repaired and replaced, etc.,” said Mayor Pro Tem David Terre. “I think this is the biggest allocation we’ve ever made at $7.2 million in one year to address those continuous needs. Times are tough but we are still honoring the priorities that the people who elected us to allocate and handle the funding to cover.”

Other expenditures include $130,000 for renovations to the recreation center and $450,000 for drainage improvements in The Tribute and on Windhaven Parkway.

The city has earmarked $15,000 for the Next Steps nonprofit organization, which will help residents in need with rental and utility assistance. The city is also funding six new paramedics for the fire department.

The budget also factors in blended raises at 4 percent, a utility discount for veterans and frozen property taxes for residents over 65.

For information on the discount contact customer service at 972-625-2741.

So far, the exemption has frozen over $5 million in home valuations from receiving a larger tax bill from the city, benefiting almost 20 percent of homes, the city stated.

For information or to apply, visit the Denton County Central Appraisal District website.

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