Thursday, October 6, 2022

City Council Begins Consideration of FY 2023 Budget

Southlake City Manager Shana Yelverton has submitted the proposed FY 2023 Budget to the City Council for consideration.

The proposed operating budget includes a .03 cent property tax decrease, a 20% homestead exemption for homeowners, significant investments into safety and security, and roads and road capacity.

Homeowner Taxpayer Relief and Reducing Debt

The proposed operating budget reduces the ad valorem rate to $0.3600, the fifth consecutive tax rate reduction and the lowest rate in Southlake since the mid-1980s.

“We are strongly committed to reducing the property tax burden on our residents and businesses while maintaining our high standards of excellence in city services because that’s what our citizens deserve,” said Mayor John Huffman.

He also noted that, for the fifth year in a row, this year’s cut puts the tax rate below the no new revenue rate, meaning that the proposed tax rate is set lower than the rate required to raise the same revenue as the prior fiscal year.

Southlake’s 20% homestead exemption continues for FY 2023, the highest amount allowed by law. The 20% homestead exemption means homeowners of an average-valued Southlake home will receive the equivalent of an approximate seven-cent tax rate reduction.

What’s included in the budget?

Graphic describing the price of the proposed FY 2023 capital projectsFor FY 2023, one priority focus is school safety and additional funding for our School Resource Officer Program. The City will expand the division by adding three more officers and a division captain for a total of 19 officers. In addition, the proposed budget includes funding for police and fire equipment and to improve traffic safety.

This year’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) prioritizes improved public infrastructure around Southlake. The proposed budget includes:

  • $12,788,000 in roadway and sidewalk investments
  • $2,555,000 in water investments
  • $1,405,000 in wastewater investments
  • $1,785,000 in storm water investments
  • $6,770,000 in park investments
  • $18,820,000 facilities investments
  • $150,000 in community enhancement investments

Funds have also been set aside for future projects, such as additional water system improvements, a public library, and other needs. The CIP is a five-year plan that anticipates future capital improvements and funding sources based on the City’s extensive master planning efforts.

How did the City come up with this proposed budget?

City staff, led by City Manager Shana Yelverton and Chief Financial Officer Sharen Jackson, focused on delivering a budget that provides exceptional services in several focus areas. They include Safety and Security, Mobility, Infrastructure, Quality Development, Partnership and Volunteerism, and Performance Management and Service Delivery.

Throughout the current fiscal year, staff monitors several data sources to help estimate revenue for the upcoming budget year. The staff analyzes various economic scenarios to make financial projection decisions using data from the residential and commercial sectors, employment numbers, consumer spending, and other factors.

For more information about the budget process, visit the Budget Overview section of the FY 2022 Proposed Budget.

What’s the plan going forward?

As Yelverton noted in a presentation before Council on August 16, the budget presented is sustainable into the future. It follows financial guiding principles that position the City for budget stability, even during difficult economic times.

“The FY 2023 proposed budget was developed with the City’s strategic goals in mind,” City Manager Yelverton said. “Multi-year financial planning has guided the way this year as it has in years past. The staff is looking forward to the beginning of the fiscal year with its new opportunities.”

The Council will consider the proposed budget at their September 6, 2022, and September 20, 2022, meetings.

For an in-depth look at the proposed FY 2023 budget, please visit CityofSouthlake.com/FY2023.