Proposed $144 million budget features lower tax rate
Residential utility rates to remain the sameCity Manager Steve Norwood
presented the proposed fiscal 2014 budget and tax rate to the Round Rock City Council
on Thursday, Aug. 1. The fiscal plan features a tax rate that is slightly lower than the current rate, and adds a new engine company for an eastside fire station and additional funds for new traffic signals.
The proposed $144.3 million budget includes $90.6 million for general services, $40.9 million for utilities and $12.8 million for debt.
"Round Rock continues to be one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. and indicators show both the regional and Round Rock economies remain healthy in economic activity and will continue to experience population growth," Norwood said. "This growth has placed pressures on City resources, and the proposed budget responds to this increased demand for services. Two primary priorities addressed in this budget are sufficient funding to adequately provide core operating services in the midst of population growth, and tailor City services to better meet the needs and expectations of a larger community."
This budget plan proposes a tax rate of 41.949 cents per $100 of property value, slightly lower than last yearâ€™s rate of 42.035 cents per $100. The City would continue to have a property tax rate that is among the lowest of any medium-to-large city in the state, including those cities with an additional half-cent sales tax for property tax reduction.
Residential utility rates for water and wastewater services will remain the same.
Sales tax revenue is extremely important to Round Rock because it reduces reliance on property taxes and makes up approximately 51 percent of General Fund revenue. While Dell sales tax figures continue to show declines from previous years, sales tax from other sources within the City negate the impact. Dell is expected to produce 30 percent of sales tax revenue. The City is estimating a conservative 2 percent increase in sales tax revenues, to $46 million.
The proposed budget includes 11 additions to personnel for the general fund:
- Fire services includes the addition of six firefighters to staff an additional engine located at Gattis School Road which will provide better emergency response coverage
- Transportation includes additional funding for traffic signal replacements
- General services includes the addition of four staff positions to better maintain over $700 million in City assets
- Library includes an additional youth librarian to service the growing demand of childrenâ€™s programming
- Administration includes additional funding to support programming to attract tourists and citizens to the historic downtown
The City Council will hold public hearings on the FY 2014 budget and tax rate at its meetings Sept. 12 and Sept. 26.
Posted: Friday, August 02, 2013