Sunday, September 15, 2019

Proposed FY 2019 Budget reduces Southlake Tax Rate

City Manager Shana Yelverton has filed the proposed FY 2019 Budget for City Council consideration.

Proposed FY 2019 Fast FactsThe proposed budget totals $103.6 million dollars and includes a proposed tax rate of .447¢, a reduction of 1.5 cents over the previous year. The reduced tax rate combined with Southlake’s 20% homestead exemption offers homeowners an equivalent tax rate of $.357 for the average valued Southlake home.

“Tax relief with an emphasis on outstanding City services is at the heart of the proposed FY 2019 budget,” said City Manager Shana Yelverton. “We have listened carefully to the Council and our residents and prioritized what is important to them and future of the City.”

Protect Southlake

The proposed budget also includes more than $500,000 for School Safety programs and initiatives to help kids feel safe while they are in school.

“Campus safety is a top priority of the Southlake Police Department,” said Chief James Brandon. “Our strong partnerships with Southlake families and Carroll ISD has helped create new opportunities to enhance school safety while keeping school faculty and our students focused on learning in a safe, protected environment.”

Connect Southlake

The FY 2019 Mobility projects will help keep connect Southlake. Projects like a proposed Texas Turnaround on SH 114 from Dove Road to Kirkwood Boulevard on the City’s northside and the proposed Zena Rucker Road Connector on the south side, will solve some ongoing traffic troubles.

“Efficient and safe transportation solutions that make sense to drivers is what we are striving for,” said Rob Cohen, the City’s Public Works Director. “The projects for FY 2019 have been in the planning stages for several years, and when you combine them with our projects from previous years, they help complete the blueprint that the Council approved in the 2035 Mobility Plan.”

Champions Club at The Marq Southlake

FY 2019 gets underway with the mid-winter opening of Champions Club at The Marq Southlake.  With sales-tax supported construction and operations (through the Community Enhancement Development Corporation), the Marq Southlake will become wholly staffed in FY 2019 as a full-service event and recreation center.  This year’s budget also includes a security strategy to help with customer peace of mind.

“Whether you come to The Marq to enjoy an event at Legends Hall, work out at Champions Club, or spend some time at the Senior Activity Center, we want our guests to feel like they are at home,” said City Manager Yelverton. “The operational plan for this facility puts the customer’s comfort and safety first,” she added.

Reducing Debt

“With this proposed budget, we continue our commitment to reducing debt,” said Chief Financial Officer Sharen Jackson. “As with previous years, 100% of our general fund capital improvement projects are being funded with cash including road construction projects currently underway on White Chapel Boulevard, and intersection improvements throughout the City.”

Jackson also noted that the City has a financial plan to manage the construction of the proposed Southlake Library located at Carillon Parc.  “Just like The Marq Southlake and our other ‘big projects,’ we will work with the Council on a financially smart building and construction plan that will deliver a top-notch facility to our residents.”

“Enhanced protection in schools, improved mobility, an amazing experience at the new Champions Club, these are just some of the priorities of the residents and the Council,” said City Manager Yelverton. “The proposed FY 2019 budget delivers these priorities as well as sets the City up for some exciting future projects.”

For a complete look at the proposed FY 2019 budget please visit CityofSouthlake.com/FY2019

City Manager Presents Proposed FY 2018 Budget

City Manager Shana Yelverton has filed the proposed FY 2018 Budget for City Council consideration.

The proposed budget includes an already approved 20% homestead exemption for homeowners, a steady tax rate, significant investments into safety and security, improved roads and road capacity, and operating dollars for the new recreation center, The Marq Southlake, Champions Club.

City of Southlake FY2018 Fast Facts imageHomeowner Tax Payer Relief and Reducing Debt

Seven homestead exemption initiatives have been approved by the City Council since 2009, including the 20% homestead exemption adopted for FY2018.

This 20% homestead exemption is an increase from the 16% exemption adopted in 2017 and marks the highest homestead exemption allowed by law.

“Tax relief for the homeowner has been a priority of the City Council since 2009,” said Chief Financial Officer Sharen Jackson. “The 20% homestead exemption will provide a reduction in value of $132,400 for an average-valued home in Southlake; this is equal to a 9.25 cent tax rate reduction and is part of the City’s commitment to targeted tax relief.”

The city of Southlake has also been able to manage debt so that 93% of the City’s current tax-supported debt will be retired in 10 years. Through the City’s use of cash and aggressive pay-back schedules when debt is issued, the City has reduced the property tax supported debt by 52% since 2010. The FY 2018 budget provides cads funding for General Fund capital projects.

Safety and Security

For FY 2018, numerous investments will be made into Safety and Security.

“Recruiting, and retaining our police officers and firefighters is the best investment that we can make into Southlake’s continued safety and security,” said City Manager Shana Yelverton. “We will also focus on equipment needs such as protective headgear and ballistic vests to better equip our public safety personnel with what they need to do their jobs.”

The proposed budget includes funding for police and fire cost of living and merit pay increases, as well as dollars to support the competitiveness of their pay plan in the City’s labor market.

Additionally, City Council will consider budgeting the resources necessary to adjust the pay plan for stronger entry pay during budget deliberations in September.

“The DFW labor market for police officers and firefighters is extremely competitive,” said Yelverton. “Should Council choose to take the extra steps of improving our public safety compensation framework, we believe we will be in a better position to recruit high quality personnel and keep them longer.”

Other safety investments will include improvements to school zones and the City’s cybersecurity as well as enhancing treatments for areas that have seen significant mosquito activity.

Better Mobility

This year’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) prioritizes better mobility around Southlake. Projects include the expansion of North White Chapel, from Emerald to State Highway 114, continued improvements to FM 1938/Randol Mill Road and improvements to State Highway 114. There are also planned improvements to Kirkwood Boulevard and the City’s continued commitment to maintaining the roadway improvements.

“These key cash-funded investments into our roads are important to help keeping everyone moving,” said Yelverton. “But we are also focusing funds on better signal timing on Southlake Boulevard and laying the ground work for intelligent transportation systems which, by using current and emerging technology, will help people get to where they need to go.”

The Marq Southlake

The Marq Southlake Champions Club will be a primary focus in FY 2018. The recreational facility will open the fall of 2018 with an aquatic center, fitness area, gymnasium, jog/walk track, indoor playground and an indoor and outdoor turf area. The proposed budget includes funding for necessary staff and operating needs to provide the services that will be offered.

“The Marq Southlake Champions Club will open in the fall of 2018 and it’s going to be an exciting time,” said Yelverton. “As the building is going up, staff will be getting the word out about memberships, hiring instructors and other important information so that we’re ready when the doors open.”

For a complete look at the proposed FY 2018 budget please visit CityofSouthlake.com/FY2018.