Director of Administrative Services Katina Hampton told Friendswood City Council that new information caused some necessary revisions to the budget since it was originally presented July 31.
“We learned that the Texas Senate Bill 1152 regarding telecommunications franchise taxes will impact our proposed budget more than we had expected, resulting in about $224,000 reduction in franchise tax revenues,” she said.
To offset the drop in revenue, staff changed its proposed property tax collection rate from 99% to 100%, giving the city another $156,000 in revenue, Hampton said.
Still short $68,000, the city proposed reducing general government expenses, including $58,000 in property tax refunds and $10,000 worth of contracted work, Hampton said.
The proposed property tax rate is $0.497314 per $100 valuation, which is a drop compared to the existing tax rate of $0.521439. To collect no new property tax revenue, the rate would be $0.487314, and if the council wanted to approve a tax rate of $0.532452 or higher, the city would need voter approval, according to state law.
Friendswood’s FY 2020-21 budget includes $96.32 million in revenue and $95.76 million in expenses, 48% of which—or $46.11 million—will go toward capital projects.
Another $21.5 million of the general fund will go to personnel, which is an increase of $835,000 compared to the FY 2019-20 budget. Meanwhile, departmental budgets were “scrubbed,” and non-personnel expenses decreased $242,000 to $9.2 million compared to the previous budget, Hampton said.
The council will hold a public hearing on the property tax rate and approve the budget and tax rate at its Sept. 14 meeting.