Sunday, December 3, 2023

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

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