The Council adopted the 2016-2017 budget at its Sept. 12 meeting.
The City of Richardson’s adopted budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year is $251,064,930. The amount represents an increase of $11,628,884, or 4.9 percent, from the 2015-2016 estimated expenditures of $239,436,046.
An Increase in funding this year is made possible in part due to strong property values experienced in the city associated with growth in the Richardson Telecom Corridor© and North Texas area. The budget directs the impact of this recent growth toward improvements in infrastructure as well as other key areas.
The budget reduces the tax rate by 1 cent and is the first property tax rate reduction since 1995-1996. This property tax rate reduction to $0.62516 is the second tax management initiative of this budget. Earlier this year, the Richardson City Council also approved increasing the City’s senior property tax exemption to $70,000 for 2016-2017 and thereafter.
“The theme of this year’s budget is ‘Intersection of Opportunity and Mission’,” said Richardson City Manager Dan Johnson. “This year we have an opportunity to implement a tax rate decrease while also making meaningful improvements to maintain and improve our infrastructure, enhance our Police and Fire capacity, build our resources to take advantage of future economic development opportunities and fast-track construction of the public safety complex, which will save money and help us make significant progress on the 2015 Bond Program. Overall, this budget is responsive to community needs and responsible with taxpayer dollars, and reflects our mission of being among the most effective and efficient municipal governments in the DFW area.”
Key highlights of the 2016-2017 Budget include:
- Certified Tax Roll increase of 14.2 percent
- One cent reduction in the tax rate for a tax rate of $0.62516
- Increases the Senior Exemption from $60,000 to $70,000
- A $939,896 increase in the funds dedicated to street maintenance for a total of approximately $3.26 million
- The acceleration of the 2015 G.O. Public Safety Complex project and addition of the Fire Station 1/Administration building reconstruction
- A new annual alley maintenance initiative of $652,000
- 8.25 percent rate adjustment in water and sewer services
- An increase in the residential solid waste rate by $3 and related commercial rate adjustments to help offset the increasing costs of recycling services
- Sales Tax forecast of 3 percent over estimated “base to base” year-end 2015-2016 collections
- Up to 5 percent step increases - for the 54 percent of employees eligible and who merit the increase
- 2 percent merit-based increase for all public safety employees
- Funding of $2.9 million of 4-year debt financing for general equipment, vehicles and projects
The General Fund portion of the 2016-2017 Budget is programmed at $123,279,216. Expenditures and transfers represent a $4,189,277, a 3.5 percent increase over 2015-2016 estimated expenditures of $119,089,939.
Key General Fund budget initiatives include a focus on infrastructure maintenance, continuing public safety staffing initiatives and increasing resources for economic development.
Increases and decreases by department between the 2016-2017 Budget and 2015-2016 estimated expenditures for the General Fund are illustrated on page 8 of the Budget, exclusive of debt financed capital equipment.
General Fund Revenues
The tax rate for the support of the 2016-2017 General Fund expenditures is submitted at a rate of $0.62516 per $100 of assessed valuation reflecting a decrease of 1 cent from the 2015-2016 tax rate. Apportionment of the $0.62516 per $100 of assessed valuation rate is $0.37031 for operations and maintenance funds to be used toward daily operating expenses and $0.25485 for debt service based on full valuation.
This tax rate is predicated on certified tax roll of $8,495,548,412 for Dallas County and $5,494,973,034 for Collin County for a 2016 total Certified Tax Roll of $13,990,521,446, reflecting an increase of $1,742,484,154, or 14.2 percent, from the 2015 final certified tax roll. While growth in property values is higher this year, the average growth in value during the past 10 years has been approximately 3.5 percent and 2.7 percent during the past 15 years. The adopted 2016-2017 Budget is based on these taxable values plus $51,898,700 of taxable values in dispute still pending with Dallas County Appraisal District and Collin County Appraisal District and less the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District increment of $991,583,258.
Remaining revenue projections are based primarily on historical trends and conservative growth indicators. The revenues projected for the General Fund for the 2016-2017 Budget represent an increase of $3,527,749, or 2.9 percent, from 2015-2016 estimated revenues. Sales Tax for 2016-2017 is projected at $32,928,179, reflecting a decrease of $406,878, or 1.2 percent, from 2015-2016 year-end estimated revenues.
Water and Sewer Fund
The 2016-2017 Budget for the Water and Sewer Fund including debt service is submitted at $70,510,348. This represents an increase of $5,598,969, or 8.6 percent, from the 2015-2016 estimated expenditures. Included in the expenditures for the 2016-2017 Water and Sewer Fund is $26,878,857 associated with the water purchase requirement from the North Texas Municipal Water District, representing 38.1 percent of the total expenses and transfers in this fund.
The budget for the purchase of water anticipates an additional $0.24 per thousand gallons or $2.6 million increase in wholesale water rates from North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) in accordance with their multi-year financial plans. With rate increases expected from the North Texas Municipal Water District due to their sewage treatment capacity expansion, sewer treatment services are expected to increase $1.6 million over the year end estimate of $13.3 million to allow for changes in flow.
Beyond operational expenditures, funding of $5,555,000 is required for the debt service requirements associated with our ongoing multi-year utility capital improvement program. Increases and decreases by departments between the 2016-2017 Budget and 2015-2016 estimated expenditures are illustrated on page 12 of the Budget, exclusive of debt financed capital.
Water and Sewer Revenues
Water and Sewer Fund revenues of $71,891,240 reflect an increase of $5,686,974, or 8.6 percent, from the 2015-2016 estimate based on the assumption of normal consumption and normal weather patterns. An 8.25 percent rate increase is included in the budget. The increase goes into effect with the first billing in November 2016. As the new fiscal year begins, water and sewer sale and consumption patterns will be tracked and monitored closely.
Solid Waste Services Fund
The 2016-2017 Budget for the Solid Waste Services Fund is at $14,617,334, representing a 6.2 percent or $856,153 increase from the 2015-2016 estimate. The disposal fees paid to NTMWD are budgeted at $4,111,875, a 1.4 percent increase over the year-end estimate due to a modest increase in the anticipated tonnage taken to the landfill. Necessary vehicle and container replacements are also included in the 2016-2017 Budget for the Solid Waste Services Fund.
Solid Waste Fund Revenues
Solid Waste revenues are programmed at $14,646,524 for 2016-2017, in increase of 9.9 percent from the 2015-2016 estimate. Some commercial service rate categories are set for adjustment. For the first time since 2008-2009, a residential rate adjustment of $3 has been adopted.
Total expenditures and transfers for the Golf Fund for fiscal year 2016-2017 are $2,221,300, reflecting an increase of 7.8 percent above estimated 2015-2016 expenditures.
Golf Fund Revenues
Golf Fund revenues are projected at $2,350,591 based on estimated rounds.
Hotel/Motel Tax Fund
The 2016-2017 Budget for the Hotel/Motel Tax Fund is $6,821,165, an increase of $1,732, or 0.03 percent, from 2015-2016 estimated. The budget reflects funding for the 15th full year of operations for the Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts and Corporate Presentations, as well as support for Convention and Visitors Bureau and funding for arts initiatives.
Hotel/Motel Tax Revenues
Total revenues for the Hotel/Motel Tax Fund are projected at $8,944,088 for 2016-2017, reflecting a $200,907 or 2.3 percent increase from estimated 2015-2016. Hotel motel tax receipts are projected at $4,516,621, reflecting a 2 percent increase, or $88,527, above estimated 2015-2016. In addition to hotel motel tax receipts, the Hotel Motel Tax Fund also hosts fees associated with the use of the City’s Parking Garage at Galatyn Park and the Eisemann Center. Parking fees are projected at $211,000. Eisemann Center fees are projected at $2,284,100, or 21.9 percent, above the 2015-2016 estimate. Eisemann Center revenue projections for 2016-2017 are based primarily on current bookings for facility use next fiscal year.
As reflected in the fund summaries, targeted fund balances have been maintained in the General Fund (60.08 days), Water and Sewer Service Fund (90.33 days), Golf Fund (63.73 days) and in the Solid Waste Services Fund (94.43 days).