Missouri City staff anticipates the value of total taxable property within the city to be approximately $6.3 billion for tax year 2018 based on preliminary reports from the Fort Bend County and Harris County central appraisal districts, according to presentations Monday.

This initial value may change due to appraisal review board hearings, which are scheduled to take place in the upcoming months, said Edena Atmore, Missouri City’s director of financial services. The city will receive certified tax rolls from Fort Bend County on July 25 and from Harris County later in August.

City Council also reaffirmed during the meeting its support for the construction of a new fire station near Lake Olympia Boulevard and approved the continuation of a semimonthly farmers market in the same region.

1) Budget planning

Adjusting for tax increment reinvestment zone funds and calculating based on its current tax rate of $0.60 per $100 taxable value, the city is expected to collect approximately $24.8 million in property tax revenue for its general fund for fiscal year 2018-19—a nearly $673,000 decrease from fiscal year 2017-18, according to meeting documents.

Staff is also planning conservatively in terms of sales tax revenue collection, City Manager Anthony Snipes said.

“Sales tax is the second largest revenue source for the general fund,” Atmore said.

The budgeted sales tax revenue for fiscal year 2017-18 totals approximately $8.5 million, according to the city’s adopted FY 2018 budget. The city estimates that revenue source will see a growth factor of 0-3 percent, Snipes said.

Sales tax is the most volatile revenue source and depends on factors such as economic conditions, legislative decisions, developments in industry and population changes, he said.

“We believe it’s going to be a very tough year,” Snipes said. “Tight to the extent where we believe that we’re going to have to implement cost reductions across the board.”

Staff is exploring 3-5 percent expenditure reductions in multiple departments, prioritizing projects and programs based on relevancy and need, he said. FY 2019 priorities include personnel salaries and benefits, public safety, animal shelter operations, economic development and infrastructure improvements.

“There are some revenue options for City Council’s consideration,” Snipes said. “With each one of those, there are challenges.”

Potential opportunities range from implementing monthly drainage or transportation user fees to creating a crime control and prevention district, Snipes said. The city will continue its budget planning process with presentations and town hall meetings scheduled through September.

2) Fire station 6

City Council reaffirmed its support for the construction of Fire Station 6 near Lake Olympia Parkway, which was approved by citizens as part of a bond package in 2014.

The city has allocated $1 million for design plans and land acquisition, and based on expenditures for Fire Station 5, construction may cost $4.5-$5 million, Assistant City Manager Scott Elmer said. Projected annual costs for staffing, maintaining and operating the new fire station is approximately $1.46 million.

The new fire station would enhance response times, provide better coverage and improve services according to a recent study performed by public services consulting firm Citygate Associates.

Without Fire Station 6, approximately 19,000 people live beyond the four-minute travel time for fire and rescue services, Assistant City Manager Bill Atkinson said. As population grows, more people will be affected.

3) Farmers Market

City Council approved the Farmers Market Partners’ request to use the land at 2700 Lake Olympia Parkway for a seasonal farmers market to be held the first and third Saturdays of every month through November.

A signage plan to direct traffic and parking arrangements at the nearby Palmer Elementary School have been made to alleviate traffic concerns, according to staff.