Raises for Keller city employees were among the topics at Keller City Council’s Aug. 29 fiscal year 2023-24 budget workshop.

Aaron Rector, director of administrative services and finance for the city, presented information on the proposed budget. Council will vote on the budget and tax rate Sept. 19. The new fiscal year will begin Oct. 1.

The background

The proposed operational budget is just below $109 million with the general fund making up $44.1 million and the water and wastewater fund amounting to $29.9 million.

Putting together a budget is a five-month process, Rector said, and this operationally balanced budget meets council’s goals and directions.

“Most importantly, it’s proposing a tax rate under the no-new-revenue rate,” he said.

That proposed rate is $0.312. Last fiscal year, the rate was $0.3545. This will be the sixth year in a row that the city has proposed a rate that stands at or is below the no-new-revenue rate, Rector said. The no-new-revenue rate is $0.31977. The proposed tax rate also comes under the voter-approval rate—the threshold for an election to be triggered—of $0.385043.

Zooming in

For an average taxable home of $440,350, the average bill would be $1,373.89. For this coming fiscal year, that breaks down into $114.49 a month, as opposed to last year’s $114.50. The average taxable home value last year was $387,603.

Rector said later in an email that the average bill of $1,373.89 is lower than the current year by $0.16—$1,375.05—and is the fifth year it has decreased.

“It is relatively the same as the current and prior years but it is still a decrease,” he said. “It is also the lowest average bill since FY 2016-17 and shows the city’s dedication to ensuring Keller taxpayers do not pay more city tax dollars on a year-to-year basis.”

City employees will receive a raise of 4%-7.5% for employees, depending on their position, and the city will spend $16.2 million in capital improvement projects on streets and sidewalks. Water rates will decrease 2%, while wastewater will go up 8.4%. The average monthly bill this year, combining water and sewer, will be $161.06, up from last year’s $158.47.

Also, $28.8 million is dedicated to parks in the proposed budget with $27 million going to the Keller Sports Park revitalization.