UPDATE: City of Friendswood officials discuss proposed budget, tax rate

The city of Fort Worth increased its budget but decreased its tax rate for fiscal year 2019-20.

The city of Fort Worth increased its budget but decreased its tax rate for fiscal year 2019-20.

This story was updated at 5:24 p.m. to clarify additional budget items.

The city of Friendswood had a public hearing for its budget Sept. 9. The city received certified values from Harris County and was able to calculate revenue more precisely for the next fiscal year because of it, Director of Administrative Services Katina Hampton said at the meeting.

With the additional revenue, the city proposed adding two positions to the budget: one in the parks department and one administrative assistant. However, these positions are subject to change as the city continues to go through the process of approving the budget.

The budget was built with the current tax rate of $0.5324 per $100 valuation. However, the taxable value in the city has increased by $210 million since last year, which would be a less than 3% increase of revenue to the city, Friendswood City Manager Morad Kabiri said.

However, the tax rate could potentially change before the council votes on it.

“I think we really need to think about that. I don’t feel comfortable with that. I would rather do the effective tax rate because I am staying consistent with what I told the voters and not raising their taxes,” City Council Member Robert Griffon said.

Griffon wants the city to consider adopting the effective rate, particularly as the November bond could potentially raise the tax rate, he said.

“I just think we really need to be careful on how much we tap our citizens for because come November, when we’re looking at anywhere from 5 to 10 cents on a bond issue on all sorts of things we are wanting to do, are we starting at $0.50 or $0.53? It’s a big difference,” Griffon said.

The city’s proposed budget expenditures total $79.3 million. One of the expenditures includes a drainage engineer, a position the city is creating this year.

Public hearings on the tax rate will take place Sept. 23 and Sept. 30. The budget and tax rate are scheduled to be adopted Oct. 7.
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