Sunday, June 13, 2021

2020 Election Quick Tips

Before you head to the polls, cross these items off your list! 

For more about the 2020 Elections, visit CityofSouthlake.com/2020Elections. 

2020 Elections Guide

Tuesday, November 3 is Election Day. If you’re voting on election day, voting hours are 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Don’t forget to bring your photo ID with you to vote. Here’s a list of acceptable forms of photo ID. Remember, when going to the polls, leave your campaign and political clothing and buttons at home. No electioneering is allowed while at the polls.

 

COVID-19 and Voting at Town Hall

Voting at Town Hall will be a little different this year than previous years. Tarrant County and the City of Southlake are coordinating our efforts to keep voters safe and comply with CDC guidelines. Tarrant County is managing protocols for voter safety while voting such as cleaning machines and the use of hand sanitizer.

Voters are encouraged to wear a mask or face covering while inside Town Hall waiting to vote and while voting. Voters are also required to maintain a physical distance of six feet from people not in their immediate household. Floor markers will be installed to help guide voters while waiting in line. Hand sanitizing stations and masks are available throughout Southlake Town Hall. Town Hall will be thoroughly cleaned each day after voting hours end.

 

Voting Locations

Voters in Tarrant County can vote anywhere in Tarrant County, including at Southlake Town Hall during early voting or on election day. Find a location to vote near your work or home by viewing the Tarrant County Early Voting Locations List.

For Denton County residents who plan to vote during early voting, view the Denton County Early Voting Locations List. For those who plan to vote on November 3, view the Denton County Election Day Polling Sites.

 

Early Voting Information

Early voting days and hours are as follows:

Tarrant County

Dates Days Times
October 13 – 17 Tuesday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
October 19 – 23 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
October 24 Saturday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
October 25 Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
October 26 – 30 Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Denton County

Dates Days Times
October 13 – 17 Tuesday – Saturday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
October 18 Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
October 19 – 24 Monday – Saturday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
October 25 Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
October 26 – 30 Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

 

Mail In Ballots

Visit the Tarrant County Election Board’s website for information about requesting and submitting a mail in ballot for voters in Tarrant County.

Visit the Denton County Election Board’s website for information on requesting and submitting a mail in ballot for voters in Denton County.

 

Ballot Information

Beginning September 1, Texas House Bill 25 eliminated straight-party voting.

Voters in Tarrant County can view what is on the ballot by viewing the Tarrant County Sample Ballot page and entering their voter information.

Voters in Denton County can view what is on the ballot by viewing the Denton County Sample Ballot page and entering their voter information.

 

City of Southlake Candidates

View the Southlake City Council candidates for Place 1 and Place 6.

 

Parking at Town Hall

Parking spaces located on the north side of Southlake Town Hall have been designated as voter parking. Additional parking is available around Town Square and in both parking garages.

Two parking spaces are designated for people with mobility issues for curbside voting accommodations. If you are disabled and in need of voting assistance and would like to select to vote curbside, park in one of the parking spaces off of Grand Avenue notated on the map below and call the phone number on the sign in front of the parking space.

 

 

For more information about the 2020 Elections, visit CityofSouthlake.com/2020Elections.

Let’s Make Southlake Count! – 2020 US Census Count Winding Down

As the door to door field operations get underway in Southlake and in other Tarrant County cities, the push is on to wrap up the 2020 US Census.

The Bureau announced in early August that they would wrap up field operations on September 30, one month early. Self-response options will also close on that date so the Bureau can submit the information by their mandated deadline of December 31.

Right now, Southlake’s current response rate is at 80.7%, which is just below the 2010 response rate of 81.8%.

“Every response counts,” said Mayor Laura Hill. “Even if you’ve responded, ask your friends and neighbors if they’ve submitted their information.  I’ll bet you’d be surprised at the number of people who haven’t had a chance to participate. If you haven’t yet, just go online, it only takes about five minutes.”

Southlake’s Community Engagement Committee is also getting involved by using social media and reaching out one-on-one.

“Southlake has changed a great deal since 2010,” said Sherry Berman, Community Engagement Committee Chairman. “A complete count will help make sure our City neighborhoods and businesses get the support they need for the next ten years. The CEC team is excited to be involved.”

Community Engagement Members include Ms. Berman, Vandana Tanneru, Vikram Jangam, Ben Siebach, Jessica Coffee, and Rashmi Singh.

For more information about the 2020 Census, visit the 2020Census.gov website. To learn more about Southlake’s efforts in support of the Census, click here: www.CityofSouthlake.com/2020Census.

City Approves Interlocal Agreement with Tarrant County for CARES Act Funding

The Southlake City Council approved an Interlocal Cooperation Agreement with Tarrant County during the June 2 session, to receive funding as part of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

The CARES Act is designed to provide immediate economic assistance for industries and municipalities who have been impacted by COVID-19. Tarrant County received a direct allocation of an estimated $210 million and is in the process of providing grants to cities within the area.

The City of Southlake is estimated to be eligible for $1.6 million, or about $55 per capita. In order to receive the funds, the City has to enter into an interlocal cooperation agreement.

According to the grant guidelines, funds can be allocated for public health and unaccounted expenses that occurred between the time period of March 1, 2020 – December 30, 2020 and were not originally included within the City’s budget.

Terms of the agreement state the funds are only to be used on eligible expenses and cannot duplicate services. This means Tarrant County and the City cannot utilize the funds for the same service. The agreement also requires the City to submit a monthly report on how funds were allocated and for any unused funds be returned.

“We’re in the process of working the budget in detail, and that includes looking at our COVID expenses at this point and get reimbursement for what we spent, as well as project out for the remainder of what we think we will spend as it relates to fighting COVID-19,” City of Southlake CFO Sharen Jackson said during the meeting.

She said the funds will be used for local economic programs and expenses such as payroll, unemployment costs, telecommuting expenses, personal protective equipment (PPE), testing and disinfection supplies, customer service enhancements and legal fees.

What You Need To Know This Tax Season

In the next 7-10 days, property tax valuations for Southlake homeowners will arrive by mail from Tarrant and Denton Counties.  And because of all the change due to the COVID-19 social distancing orders, there are also adjustments to this year’s Tarrant and Denton County protest processes.

For Denton County homeowners, the appraisal notice will be mailed by April 29. For Tarrant County residents, notices are scheduled to be sent on May 1.

“For FY 2020, the City reduced the tax rate by 3.7 cents for a valuation of $.041 per $100,” said Sharen Jackson, Southlake’s Chief Financial Officer. “Homeowners also need to make sure their 20% homestead exemption is in place and, if applicable, the senior tax freeze, and an over 65/disability exemption of $75,000.”

Exemptions At Work

To apply for your exemptions, follow these simple steps.

Infographic showing steps to obtain a homestead exemption

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CFO Jackson also said that the 20% homestead exemption for an average valued Southlake home ($740k) reduces the taxable value by $148k, an average a savings of $607.

For FY 2020, the tax rate went from $0.447 to $0.41, which results in additional savings of $222 for homeowners. Most of the rate ($.33) supports general city operations. The other portion of ($.08) pays down on debt that the City has issued to build public infrastructures such as roads, sidewalks, and public facilities. The City tax rate constitutes about 15% of the total tax levy in Southlake (depending on the school district).

Protest Information

Because of current social distancing guidelines, each appraisal district will handle protests differently this year. Both appraisal districts are encouraging residents to use their online protest systems and to create a user profile on the appropriate appraisal site.

If you live in Denton County, click here for Denton Central Appraisal District protest procedures. Denton County residents can create their user profile by using their Google, Facebook, or Twitter account. For more information, visit https://www.dentoncad.com/protestfaqs. The deadline to file a protest with Denton County is 30 days after the postmark on your appraisal notice.

The Tarrant Appraisal District has pulled together a news and FAQ page for property owners. They also advise taxpayers who are preparing to protest to activate their TAD.org online account now. The deadline to file a protest with Tarrant County is  June 1, 2020, or 30 days from the mail date listed on the notice, whichever is later.

If you have any questions, please call us at (817) 748-8042. If you prefer to contact your appraisal district directly, the numbers are below.

Tarrant County Appraisal District

2500 Handley Ederville Road

Fort Worth, TX 76118

(817) 284-0024

Denton Central Appraisal District

3911 Morse Street

Denton, TX 76202

(940) 349-3800

For more information about the City’s tax rate, please visit www.CityofSouthlake.com/TaxInformation

Eggcellent Family Holiday Ideas

Egg hunts, social celebrations and visiting friends and family may seem out of the question this year with social distancing in place. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.

Here are six ideas to help you have an eggcellent holiday with your loved ones while staying safe.

  1. Order Dinner. Take a break from cooking Sunday dinner this year and help support your local Southlake restaurants. Some restaurants even have specials for this weekend! Check out the list here.
  2. Holiday Crafts. A hands-on activity is a great way for family members of any age and skill level to tap into their creative side. Check out some cool craft ideas on the Experience Southlake Facebook page.
  3. Backyard Egg Hunt. Let’s have an egg hunt in your backyard! This is a fun and simple way for your kids to get a little fresh air and a change of scenery.
  4. Neighborhood Egg Hunt. Let’s go beyond the backyard! Organize a neighborhood Egg Hunt! Let the neighborhood kids color one of our coloring book eggs, hang it in your window on Sunday and count how many eggs you find as you walk around the neighborhood for some exercise!
  5. Video Call. Keeping grandma and grandpa safe is a top priority. Schedule a video call with relatives and friends to let them know how much you miss them and how happy you are that they are safe.
  6. Movie Night. Stream your favorite classic movie while cozying up on the couch. Some services even allow you to organize a group watch party so everyone can watch while safe at their own homes.

To help our community find the latest news and resources on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, the City has created an information page on its website at www.ProtectSouthlake.com. Bookmark this page for easy, quick access to the information you need to stay on top of how the City is responding.

Resources for You and Your Employees

The impact of the COVID-19 situation is not only being felt locally in Southlake, but on a state and national level. Governments and organizations are issuing updates daily to help individuals and organizations who have been impacted. 

Below is a list of resources for you and your business: 

  • City of Southlake Business Resources: The City has put together a webpage with information for Southlake small businesses and updates on the COVID-19 response from a business perspective. The webpage also includes links to listing of local restaurants with updates to their curbside and delivery services, as well as a listing of grocery stores and pharmacies with operation hours and special services. 
  • Tarrant County Community Resources: Tarrant County has listed health and community resources on its COVID-19 information page. 
  • Texas Workforce Commission: TWC is providing updates on unemployment benefits and information for employers, jobseekers and child care on its website. You can also sign up for updates. 
  • IRS Tax Relief: The deadline to file your taxes has been extended to July 15. For information on the stimulus payment check sent to households and other IRS resources, click here. 
  • U.S. Department of Labor Unemployment Resources and Workplace Safety Guidelines: The DOL website provides resources for workers and employers for the COVID-19 situation. 

To help our community find the latest news and resources on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, the City has created an information page on its website at www.ProtectSouthlake.comBookmark this page for easy, quick access to the information you need and stay on top of how the City is responding. 

The Dos and Don’ts of Stay-at-Home

There are a lot of questions about what stay-at-home means and what you’re allowed and not allowed to do until the order expires April 7. To help, we created a list of dos and don’ts.

 

DO Walk Your Dog – Outside walks and jogs are permitted. Remember to follow social distancing requirements and stay six feet apart from others.

DON’T Go to the Playground – While City parks are open, playgrounds, basketball courts and other amenities are closed to the public. Here’s a breakdown of what’s open and what’s not. You can take a stroll in the park, as long as it’s not a social gathering or grouping outside of your household and you are following social distancing requirements.

DO Order Takeout or Delivery from a Southlake Restaurant – Restaurants can serve takeout and delivery. So, pick out a restaurant from this list and place your order!

DON’T Go To Work If You’re Not Considered an Essential Service or Business – Have questions? Take a look at our summary of the order. Telecommute when possible.

DO a Scavenger Hunt – While you’re exercising outdoors, play our scavenger hunt! Remember to follow the social distancing requirements.

DON’T Organize a Social Outing – Instead of meeting your friends in-person, organize a video chat.

DO Grocery Shop – Grocery stores are open, so pick up some necessities or order online and use the store’s pick up or delivery services.

DON’T Panic Buy – When shopping, buy what you need. There’s no need to hoard.

DO Have Fun – It’s a stressful time for all of us. Make the most of it with at-home activities. Here’s a list!

Have more questions? Watch Deputy Mayor Pro Tem John Huffman and Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski give a breakdown in this video or review our summary of the order here.

View the full Tarrant County order here.

To help our community find the latest news and resources on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, the City has created an information page on its website at www.ProtectSouthlake.com. Bookmark this page for easy, quick access to the information you need and stay on top of how the City is responding.

Southlake Resident Tests Positive for COVID-19

The City has been made aware by Tarrant County Public Health that a fourth Southlake resident has tested positive for COVID-19.

In the interest of the resident’s privacy, this is the only publicly releasable information. If you have questions, contact the Tarrant County COVID-19 hotline at (817) 248-6299. For the Tarrant County case status by city updates, click here.

City leadership is following the guidance of state and local agencies to support the protection of public health in Southlake and the DFW area. The COVID-19 situation is frequently changing, and the City of Southlake is committed to working with our residents and businesses to work through this unprecedented situation.

We continue to encourage everyone to make the best possible decisions by following expert guidance and advice, reducing the risk of being infected or infecting others, and staying up-to-date about the latest information.

To help you to stay informed as this situation evolves, the City of Southlake has created a new information page, www.ProtectSouthlake.com, that provides a centralized place for Southlake news and resources. It also contains links to the COVID-19 pages located on county, state, and federal sites.

For mobile phone text message updates from the City, type PROTECTSLK to 888-777. Be sure to follow Mayor Hill’s Facebook page and the City’s social media for the latest City news and to stay connected with us and each other.