City Manager David Cooke presented budget highlights at an Aug. 9 work session of the City Council. The city is planning a series of meetings in the coming weeks to involve the community and collect resident feedback.
Among the priorities reflected in the proposed budget are having a safe and clean community; supporting growth; keeping up with workforce recruitment and retention; reducing the tax rate; and ensuring infrastructure stewardship, Cooke said.
“The city’s economic outlook is positive, even as we continue to feel long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cooke said in a news release. “We’re seeing gains in local job growth, property values, sales tax collections and new building permits. But along with Fort Worth’s impressive population growth comes increased demands on city services and infrastructure.”
The proposed general fund budget is up 10.03% from the fiscal year 2021-22, according to the budget presentation. Cooke told council members the general fund gets a lot of attention because that is where the tax revenues are spent and where many of the city services—including police, fire, parks and libraries—get their funding.
He said the net taxable value of properties in Fort Worth showed “very strong growth over fiscal year 20[21-]22.” The city saw an 11.4% increase in the taxable value of existing properties and another 3.1% growth in taxable value from new construction, Cooke said.
Other sections of the budget include the water and sewer fund, the environmental fund, the special services fund and the debt service fund. The city’s total operating budget recommended for FY 2022-23 is more than $2.32 billion, documents show.
Cooke told council that water rates, garbage collection fees and stormwater fees will not increase in the upcoming year.
The proposed property tax rate is $0.7125 per $100 valuation, compared with $0.7325 per $100 valuation this fiscal year, according to the presentation.
The city of Fort Worth has scheduled multiple work sessions to review the budget. Those sessions will be held from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 12, 25 and 26, and Sept. 8 and 9 at City Hall, 200 Texas St.
A public hearing on the budget will be held at 6 p.m. Sept. 13 at City Hall.
Several engagement meetings are also scheduled throughout the city so that residents may provide feedback and get their questions answered.
A North Fort Worth meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 17 at Summerglen Library, 4205 Basswood Blvd.
A District 7 meeting with Council Member Leonard Firestone will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 24 at Boswell High School, 5805 W. Bailey Boswell Road.
Other engagement meetings have been scheduled throughout the city in other council districts.
A public hearing on the tax rate will be held Sept. 27. The Fort Worth City Council is scheduled to adopt the tax rate, operating budget and five-year capital improvement plan at that same meeting, which will start at 10 a.m. at City Hall.
Click here for more details on the city’s budget, including presentations and a schedule of upcoming meetings.