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Council passes budget, sets tax rate

by | Sep 22, 2022 | Area news, Latest

With little fanfare or discussion, the Farmersville City Council has approved a budget for the next fiscal year that keeps the municipal tax rate the same as it was a year ago.

The council voted unanimously on Sept. 13 to approve an ordinance setting the budget amount, while also approving separate ordinances setting the tax rate. The council also approved ordinances approving the fiscal year 2022-23 tax appraisal roll set by Collin County and an ordinance approving a hotel occupancy tax for Farmersville.

The city had publicized in advance of the meeting a public hearing for residents to speak in favor or against the proposed budget. Council members received no testimony, as no one attended the council meeting.

All told, the new budget spends $4,322,784 for its general fund, an increase of about $100,000 from the current budget. The new budget projects expenses to total $4,526,311, showing a deficit for the coming fiscal year of $283,527.

The council approved a tax rate of $0.7124 per $100 assessed valuation. According to finance director Daphne Hamlin, “Of that total tax rate, $0.461785 is dedicated to general fund maintenance and operations and $0.250615 is dedicated to general obligation debt service.” She said that the debt service portion comprises about 33% of the overall municipal tax rate.

Hamlin noted in prepared remarks delivered to the council that the “average taxable single-family home value for the 2022 tax year is approximately $249,552, an increase of $59,093 from the previous year. At the proposed tax rate … the municipal taxes paid on the average single-family home will be $1,777.” The average single-family home produced tax revenue of $1.385 in the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Hamlin noted that property values continued to grow at a “healthy” rate of increase. The city experienced a 28.4% increase from the previous year, or more than $28.5 million in new value added to the tax roll. 

Moreover, sales tax revenue is projected to spike in 2022-23, to around $385,000, compared to $301,000 collected during the current budget year.

“The city remains optimistic that we will experience modest, but slow growth, with the development of Camden Park, Collin College and more recently the Farmersville Palladium Apartments,” she stated. “New value added to the tax roll will be primarily in our (Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone) district,” Hamlin added.

The new budget also builds in a 3% cost-of-living pay increase for all 35 full-time city employees. “The city currently pays for health insurance for all full-time employees through a plan provided by the Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Employee Benefit Pool.”

The new fiscal year takes effect Oct. 1.

In other business, the council approved unanimously an inter-local agreement with Collin County for construction and use of the county’s animal shelter.

Council members also approved two resolutions involving a Community Development Block Grant request, one that authorizes signatures for the program and another one adopting CDBG civil rights policies.

The council also approved a proclamation declaring April 2023 as Fair Housing Month.

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By John Kanelis. • [email protected]

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