Keller could lower its tax rate for 6th consecutive year

Keller City Council plans to lower its tax rate for the sixth consecutive year.

Keller City Council plans to lower its tax rate for the sixth consecutive year.

As Keller City Council prepares to vote on Keller’s fiscal year 2019-20 budget, the city is proposing decreasing its tax rate for the sixth consecutive year.

At the Aug. 6 Keller City Council meeting, city officials proposed a FY 2019-20 operating budget of about $90.94 million. Most of its proposed expenses for the year—around $30.77 million—will be for personnel services.

Revenue to pay the expenses will be funded primarily by charges for services and property taxes. Charges for services, which include city services such as water, wastewater and garbage, are expected to contribute around $37.67 million in revenue. Property taxes are expected to generate more than $24.36 million for the FY 2019-20 budget.

In total, the city’s FY 2019-20 revenue are expected to total about $88.8 million. The roughly $2.14 million difference between the budgeted expenditures and revenue is due to one-time transportation, infrastructure, parks and recreation, and equipment replacement expenses.

The city will pay for these expenses through its fund balance and reserve funds.

City officials and council also discussed a proposed tax rate of $0.3999 per $100 valuation. That is a decrease from the FY 2018-19 tax rate of $0.41325 per $100 valuation.

“We’ve had quality growth, and while we do intend to issue debt, over the next couple of years, we’ll see our debt dropping off,” Director of Administrative Services Aaron Rector said. “And there’s just good, conservative budgeting on behalf of the council.”

City Council approved another form of tax relief for Keller residents at its June 19 meeting, increasing the city’s homestead exemption rate by 2% to 12%. With the measure, the taxable value of homes in Keller decreases by 12% or $5,000, whichever is greater.

Keller City Council is scheduled to adopt its FY 2019-20 budget and tax rate at its Sept. 17 meeting. The fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
By Korri Kezar
Korri Kezar graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011 with a degree in journalism. She worked for Community Impact Newspaper's Round Rock-Pflugerville-Hutto edition for two years before moving to Dallas. Five years later, she returned to the company to launch Community Impact Newspaper's Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth edition, where she covers local government, development, transportation and a variety of other topics. She has also worked at the San Antonio Express-News, Austin-American Statesman and Dallas Business Journal.