Richardson proposes unchanged tax rate despite projected $6M loss in operating revenue

City Manager Dan Johnson briefed City Council on the proposed budget and tax rate at a Aug. 10 meeting. (Courtesy Citizens Information Television)
City Manager Dan Johnson briefed City Council on the proposed budget and tax rate at a Aug. 10 meeting. (Courtesy Citizens Information Television)

City Manager Dan Johnson briefed City Council on the proposed budget and tax rate at a Aug. 10 meeting. (Courtesy Citizens Information Television)

Richardson is projecting to sustain a nearly $6 million loss in annual operating revenue headed into the upcoming fiscal year.

The city is budgeting about $131 million in general fund revenue for fiscal year 2020-21, said City Manager Dan Johnson, who briefed council on the proposed budget at an Aug. 10 meeting. This is down 4.3% from the current fiscal year, when revenue is estimated to land at roughly $136 million.

This loss is in part due to a dip in citywide property valuations, which staff is proposing not to offset through a property tax increase. Richardson’s estimated appraised value for 2020 is $16.2 billion, which is a 1.81% decrease from 2019.

Instead, the city is proposing to readopt its current rate of $0.62516 per $100 home valuation. By keeping the tax rate the same and applying it to a lower taxable value, the city will collect less property tax revenue in fiscal year 2020-21, Deputy City Manager Don Magner said.

“Rather than revenue going up this year, it actually went down significantly, and rather than going up in our tax rate, we made some very hard cuts, but we are maintaining essential services,” Council Member Steve Mitchell said.

It is possible the city could see a bump in property tax revenue once the tax roll is finalized by the appraisal districts. That action has been delayed due to a postponement of protest hearings. Dallas County’s certified roll is expected in late August, and Collin County’s is slated for mid-September.

A sales tax revenue reduction brought on by the coronavirus pandemic is also exacerbating the city’s loss in operating revenue. Staff projects sales tax receipts to land at $30.7 million for the upcoming fiscal year, which is an estimated annual decrease of $6.3 million, Johnson said.

The city will soften the blow to the budget by borrowing $3.3 million from its fund balance, according to the presentation. It is also proposing to cut general fund expenditures by $3.1 million.

Some of those reductions will include holding off on recommended infrastructure maintenance, implementing a hiring freeze on nonessential positions, suspending compensation increases for staff, and canceling community events.

These expenditures could be incrementally restored if financial trends and forecasts remain positive for a sustained period, Johnson said.

“We want to model the austerity and sacrifice that we know many of our citizens and businesses are facing in their actions,” he said.

Despite the “unique and profound” challenges associated with COVID-19, Johnson said, the city is committed to maintaining essential services that are dependable and useful for a “stressed community,” he said.

This means moving forward on planned improvements to neighborhoods and infrastructure, Johnson said. These projects include park upgrades, street and alley repairs, improvements to traffic software and equipment, and water and sewer projects, among other initiatives.

The city’s water and sewer fund and solid waste fund are expected to see revenue bumps in the upcoming fiscal year. Staff is proposing to keep water and residential solid waste rates unchanged, Johnson said.

Citizens can provide feedback on the proposed budget and tax rate at an Aug. 17 public hearing. Another opportunity for public comment will be available prior to budget adoption Aug. 24.

For more information on the proposed budget, visit this link.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


ExxonMobil has held office space at Hughes Landing in The Woodlands. (Courtesy The Howard Hughes Corp.)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: ExxonMobil to bring Hughes Landing employees back to Spring location; Dave's Hot Chicken to open in Plano and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 27.

NoRa Asian Fresh now serving fusion dishes in Richardson

The fast-casual restaurant offers a variety of Asian fusion dishes, such as egg rolls, rice bowls, sushi, ramen and more.

The Silver Line will include 10 stations along its planned route, including two in Plano and two in Richardson. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
DART offers two virtual meetings for public to review long-term mobility plans

The meetings will be streamed Oct. 27 from noon-1 p.m. and Oct. 28 from 6:30-7:30 p.m., according to DART.

City health officials decided to spray a portion of Richardson after a mosquito trap tested positive for the West Nile virus, according to a city release. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Richardson to spray Oct. 26-27 after mosquito trap tests positive for West Nile virus

The Richardson Health Department plans to spray for mosquitoes in the southwest section of the city after a trap in the area tested positive for West Nile virus.

"The Dude" is the signature burger at Lebowski's Grill. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Lebowski's Grill upends expectations in Austin; first Houston-area Costco Business Center opens in Stafford and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 26.

New Jason’s Deli location under construction on South Plano Road in Richardson

Work on the nearly 4,700-square-foot building is slated to be completed during the first quarter of 2022, according to a filing with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

New statewide maps will go into effect Jan. 18, 2022. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
Gov. Abbott approves new voting maps for state legislature, Congress, school districts for next decade

The maps will go into effect Jan. 18, 2022, after the state legislature passed them during a 30-day special session.

Plano ISD considering sale of Shiloh Center located along planned Dallas Area Rapid Transit Silver Line route

Plano ISD has received a number of inquiries from real estate professionals about clients interested in purchasing the property, Chief Financial Officer Randy McDowell said.

The statewide job fair will connect veterans to employers as well as other resource providers. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Statewide job fair aims to connect Texas veterans and their families to employers

The job fair is coming to local Texas Workforce Solutions offices, some of which are having early admission for veterans and their families.

Early voting continues Oct. 25-29 for the Nov. 2 election in Dallas and Collin counties. (Courtesy steheap/Adobe Stock)
Richardson polling location logs just over 900 ballots in first week of early voting

Nearly 10,580 ballots were cast at Dallas County polling locations between Oct. 18-24. This represents less than 1% of the 1.4 million registered voters in the county.

Teso Life currently has a location in Carrollton near another 99 Ranch Market and other Asian businesses and restaurants. (Matt Payne/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Japanese department store Teso Life coming to Frisco; New Braunfels’ Gruene Hall set as backdrop for Scotty McCreery music video and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 25.