Meetings to address budget, tax rate

In Friendswood by Reporter NewsLeave a Comment

By NICOLE JONES

The City of Friendswood will hold public hearings in September and October before adopting a budget and tax rate that will likely be unchanged from the current year.

“Because we are proposing the current tax rate, an amount that may be slightly above the effective tax rate, we would need to have two public hearings per state regulations,” the city’s Director of Administrative Services Katina Hampton told the council during an Aug. 5 budget workshop.

The current total tax rate for the city is 54.24 cents per $100 of assessed value. The estimated effective tax rate for the next fiscal year — the rate that would generate the same revenue from the same properties taxed the year prior — is 51.24 cents per $100 valuation.

The draft budget includes total revenues of $79.3 million vs. projected expenditures of $79.2 million. An estimated $6.6 million of the $30 million in expected general fund revenues will come from sales tax returned to the city. Property taxes make up the largest portion of general fund revenues, about 53 percent.

“We expect the general fund to be up $400,000 on sales tax, based on trends we are seeing in our collections this year,” Hampton said. “Our franchise taxes are expected to be up by about $600,000. That again is based on trends. We also had a rate adjustment on some of our franchise fees.”

Court fines, also, are expected to increase, along with a slight predicted increase in permit revenue.

“There have been some legislative changes related to how we charge for building permits,” she said.

The budget is still in progress, with a number of “decision packages,” a list of requests from various departments that have yet to be funded.

“Each year, a number of items are not funded and get carried over into the next year,” City Manager Morad Kabiri said. “It’s not that operations will cease if they’re not funded, but it would definitely improve the service level.”

Estimated taxable value within the city is $3.6 billion, up $137 million from the year prior including new construction.

A budget public hearing is scheduled Sept. 9, with public hearings on the tax rate scheduled Sept. 23 and Sept. 30. Final adoption of the budget and tax rate is expected on Oct. 7.

For more information, videos of meetings or full agendas, visit www.ci.friendswood.tx.us.

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