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Council advised to keep current tax rate

by | Aug 24, 2022 | Area news, Latest

Farmersville residents might be able to see some stability in their next fiscal year municipal tax rate if a city staff recommendation holds sway with city council.

City Finance Director Daphne Hamlin – with an endorsement from City Manager Ben White – has recommended that the council adopt a fiscal year 2022-23 municipal tax rate of 71.24 cents per $100 property valuation, which is identical to the rate that property owners pay currently.

Hamlin presented four options to the council for its consideration at the council’s Aug. 9 regular meeting, but said in her presentation that Option No. 3, the current rate, is the most suitable.

Farmersville’s total taxable value as calculated by Collin County tax officials, Hamlin said, is a little more than $400 million.

Last year’s taxable value was $326 million.

Hamlin cautioned councilmembers against approving the “De Minimis rate,” which she said is the greatest rate the city can adopt without an automatic election.

Hamlin added that approving a rate greater than the voter-approval rate of 71.3947 cents per $100 valuation could open them up “to a potential voter petition for an election.” The De Minimis rate would stand at 85.6194 cents per $100.

Council is scheduled to set its tax rate at its Sept. 13 meeting, according to Hamlin. The fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

In other business, City Councilman Craig Overstreet questioned whether the TIRZ board was acting appropriately by considering projects that had not yet been approved by council. Overstreet raised the concern during the consent agenda portion of the meeting. He said the TIRZ board is obligated to only consider infrastructure projects that have obtained council approval.

“It’s a timing issue,” Overstreet said, “and everyone needs to respect the process.”

 Council also accepted a $500 donation from the Farmersville Rotary Club that will go toward the city’s annual Audie Murphy Day celebration. It also received a proclamation declaring the week of Aug. 7-13 as National Health Center Week. Also approved were two interlocal agreements with Collin County: one approves a $3,432 agreement for health inspections, while the other approves a contract to spend $81,731 for police department dispatch services.

City Manager White delivered two lengthy reports on potential commercial development projects, one being the Prairie Dog Project, the other dealing with possible work on what White called the “U.S. 380 west side project.” The council took no action after hearing the reports.

A budget amendment that pays $16,000 for new body cameras for the police department was approved. Police Chief Mike Sullivan said he had applied for a grant to assist in reducing the out-of-pocket cost to the city.

The council convened an executive – or closed – session to discuss personnel issues related to an assistant city manager, the city attorney and two police officers. No action was taken other than instructing Ben White to proceed as councilmembers had discussed on any of those matters before adjourning.

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