Monday, November 30, 2020

City’s 93 Million Dollar Budget Delivers Increased Homeowner Tax Relief

“This exemption means that property tax revenue exceeds the effective tax rate (rate that would produce the same revenue as last year) by only 1%.” – Southlake City Manager, Shana Yelverton.

Budget Fast facts Call out BoxLed by Yelverton, the Southlake City staff is presenting for the Council’s consideration a proposed FY 2017 budget that delivers The Marq Southlake Phase 2, Homeowner Tax Relief, and maintains a steady tax rate.

“The homestead tax exemption will be 16% this year, offering Southlake homeowners more than $98,000 in tax relief on an average valued home in Southlake,” said City Manager Yelverton. “Our strategy of slowly increasing the homestead exemption to the state maximum of 20% is a targeted approach to offering homeowner tax relief, maintaining high service levels and keeping our debt low.”

Parks and Recreation

The Marq Southlake Phase 2 is scheduled to break ground in late fall of 2016. Funded by Community Economic Development Corporation bonds, the $37.4 million-dollar project includes many recreational features, including an aquatic center, fitness area, gymnasium, jog/walk track, indoor playground and an indoor and outdoor turf area.

2017 is also the year that Bicentennial Park Phase 3 improvements will get underway. When this $8.8 million dollar project, funded by the Southlake Parks and Development Corporation is completed, the Southlake Tennis Center will have a new building and enclosed tennis courts. The park will also have a completed trail system, a synthetic turf field at the current in-line hockey court, and other enhanced park amenities.

Safety and Security

“We are excited to announce that we will be making the final debt payment for Departments of Public Safety buildings,” said Chief Financial Officer Sharen Jackson. “The accelerated amortization schedule for DPS Headquarters and DPS North will allow us to focus the Crime Control and Prevention Districts (CCPD) sales tax allotment (1/8¢) on the School Resource Officers Program and other allowable safety projects.”

Better Mobility

This year’s City’s Capital Improvement Projects include Kirkwood Boulevard Improvements and Urban Enhancement project which will provide for better east-west travel in the City’s northern portion.

Five neighborhoods located throughout the City will see the installation of flashers, pedestrian buttons, and voice activated controls at South Carroll Avenue and Continental Boulevard; North Carroll Avenue and Dove Road; North White Chapel Boulevard and Dove Road; Peytonville Avenue and Dove Road; and Byron Nelson Parkway and Continental Boulevard.

Yelverton noted that the capital projects and several others slated for FY 2017 have been identified in our Southlake 2030 Comprehensive Plan as tier one projects. “We know that these cash-funded projects will help make Southlake more livable community. From the everyday errands around town to taking a walk in their neighborhoods, we are focusing dollars where it counts.”

Reducing Debt & Tax Relief

Along with the final debt payment for the DPS facilities, the FY 2017 City maintains its firm commitment to reducing property tax supported debt. All Capital Improvement Projects slated for the General Fund will be paid for with cash, a proposed $5.25 million dollars.

The Marq Southlake will be funded by bonds which are backed by voter-approved sales tax monies.

Chief Financial Officer Jackson noted, “The City will pay down that debt by using sales tax revenue, a majority of which has come from people who visit our City. With our AAA and AA+ bond ratings, we can put that sales tax revenue to work building the facilities and amenities that Southlake Citizens have told us are a priority.”

In a recent Texas Senate select committee hearing on tax reform and relief, a local lawmaker offered to work with Mayor Laura Hill “to make sure that we don’t disrupt an {city} that’s doing an excellent job.”

“This budget recognizes our commitment to the City’s residents to relieve as much property tax related debt as possible,” said Yelverton. “Since 2009 we have worked with the Council to decrease debt and offer homeowners tax relief. We look forward to doing that again this year.”

For a complete look at the proposed FY 2017 budget please visit CityofSouthlake.com/FY2017.