Flower Mound Mayor Derek France thinks of his city as a “small town”—although its population of more than 80,000 would suggest otherwise.
France spoke to members of the Flower Mound Rotary Club at the July 20 meeting, and touched on how Flower Mound achieves high rankings for livability. He also discussed other matters with Rotarians at their weekly noon luncheon, such as taxes and growth, and how elected officials are approachable, helping to explain why he sees Flower Mound as possessing small-town relatability.
France said he “relishes” his role as mayor and enjoys getting to share information about Flower Mound.
“Don’t take this the wrong way: If I could have all my bills paid, I would do this full time—I would be a full-time mayor,” he said. “I love it.”
France distributed copies of the town’s 2022 Annual Report, which contained various facts and figures, including how the town is the best place to live in Texas, according to lending company Rocket, and is the fourth most livable small city in the U.S., according to a study by SmartAsset, an online personal finance company.
The mayor was quick to not take credit for Flower Mound’s achievements, explaining that he sees himself as an ambassador for the town.
“So, how’s that for a job, right?” he said about being mayor.
He said a great town staff and community help explain why Flower Mound received the best place to live in Texas ranking. The rankings page also included information on how Flower Mound is the fourth best suburb to buy a house in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to Niche, an online analyst that takes real estate trends, quality of schools, taxes and other factors into account.
France also shined a light on parks and recreation, and the annual report included plans for future parks, such as Canyon Falls Park, and additions and upgrades at other parks around town.
More than 100 news businesses were added in 2022, according to the annual report. A handout from the mayor showed the town has 175 existing restaurants and cafes and 200 retail stores.
Other highlights from the annual report showed several utility and roadway, signal and reconstruction projects were completed last year, and regarding animal services, more than 400 animals were adopted in 2022. Other highlights included $18.2 million in sales taxes collected in 2022, and 56.7% of general fund revenues come from property taxes and 20.2% of revenues emerge from sales taxes.
Also of note
France pointed out how the town, for the third consecutive year, has had its homestead exemption continue to increase.
“One of the biggest things we can do is control the homestead exemption,” he said.
Town data showed that in 2018, the Flower Mound Town Council approved the town's first homestead tax exemption equal to the greater of $5,000 or 2.5% of value.
In 2021, the Town Council voted to double the homestead exemption to equal to the greater of $5,000 or 5% of value, according to information provided by the town, and in 2022, the Town Council doubled the exemption to equal to the greater of $5,000 or 10% of value. In 2023, the Town Council voted to again increase the exemption to equal to the greater of $5,000 or 12.5% of value.
France discussed recent businesses occurring in town, with the handout informing patrons about many developments happening in the Lakeside area. France took questions from Rotarians at the end of the meeting, with one individual asking about Furst Ranch, which will be located near US 377 and FM 1171. France said Furst Ranch, which will be a mixed-use development, has been zoned and is still going through the development process.