Shavano Park City Council is due to meet Sept. 18 and consider a balanced FY 2023-24 general fund budget that is projected to contain an increase in expenses and revenue as well as a small property tax rate hike.

The background

Council on Sept. 11 hosted the first of two readings of an ordinance establishing the new operating budget, which calls for $6.71 million in revenue and $6.71 million in expenditures. The balanced FY 2022-23 general fund budget contained $6.34 million in revenue and $6.34 million in expenses.

Citing some reasons for the higher revenue, City Manager Bill Hill said Shavano Park’s total taxable assessed property value stands at $1.78 billion, representing an 8.45% increase over FY 2022-23. According to the budget document, the town’s average taxable homestead value is $936,616—up $91,192 from last year.

Hill also said the city projects a rise in sales tax revenue over last year from $702,000 to $744,000—an increase largely attributed to inflation and increasing online sales.

Dig deeper

Hill said the new budget proposes market-based salary increases for fire and police personnel, pay grade hikes for public works employees and a 5% cost-of-living increase with a 2.5% step pay hike for all city staff. Additionally, the budget proposes a 10.3% increase in the city’s contribution for employee health benefits and a 25% contribution to dependents’ health plans.

The new budget would include a property tax rate of $0.307 per $100 valuation—higher than the $0.297 rate for FY 2022-23. The tax rate increase will help to pay debt costs associated with the $10 million bond approved by voters in 2022, which is funding citywide road improvements.

What they’re saying

Hill said the proposed budget also features, for the first time, a long-term financial planning forecast, which goes out through 2028.

“This was born out of the town plan, this budget, and the [Government Finance Officers Association of Texas] would like to see it,” Hill said of including the financial forecast.

What’s next

Council is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 18 to formally adopt the new budget and tax rate, both of which will go into effect Oct. 1, the start of the city’s new fiscal year.