Royse City Council adopted the proposed budget and tax rate for the coming fiscal year, starting Oct. 1, at last week's council meeting.
The council set the property tax rate at 62.15 cents per $100 valuation, keeping the same tax rate as last year. In the approved property tax rate of 62.15 centers per $100 valuation, 44.35 cents will go to general maintenance and operation of the city while the other 17.80 cents will go toward debt service.
“This is another year where we haven’t been forced to raise the tax rate to take care of things so this is reflective of the same tax rate you had last year,” City Manager Carl Alsabrook told the council.
The approved property tax rate is higher than the effective tax rate of 57.7711 cents, which is the rate that would raise the same amount of revenue in the coming fiscal year as in the previous one, and lower than the rollback rate of 63.3528 - the maximum it can be set to before voters can petition for a vote on limiting the rate increase.
Although the property tax rate will stay the same this year, the budget is set to raise $759,836, or 14.87 percent, more revenue from property taxes than last year’s budget. Property tax revenue to be raised from new property on the tax roll this year is $371,371, according to city documents. This property tax revenue increase was approved unanimously by the council, which had to be voted on separately from the approval of the tax rate and budget as mandated by the local government code.
Council members also approved the fiscal year 2019-20 budget with total appropriations amounting to nearly $26.3 million. The budget accounts for personnel additions of one police officer and one full-time firefighter, maintenance worker positions, and administration support staff. It also includes funding for the replacement of a parks maintenance truck, four police department vehicles and incremental funding of a grant match for a fire department tanker replacement.
In other budget updates, council members voted to amend the current fiscal year’s budget to adjust for previously approved projects that might not be completed by the end of the current fiscal year on Sept. 30. The amendment didn’t provide any new funding, but rather allowed the continuation of previously approved funds into the new fiscal year.
“There’s a chance that some of the items that were approved this [fiscal] year won’t be completed by Oct. 1 so if that’s the case, there’s a mechanism that would allow those dollars to be spent on the project that’s already been approved but won’t be completed by Sept. 30,” Alsabrook informed the council.
An incentive request made to the Royse City Community Development Corporation from Resolute Compliance, LLC was approved by council members with the exception of Councilmember Place 5 James Branch, who voted against approving the request. Before the vote Branch asked CDC Executive Director Charles Houk about the company, the kind of work it does and why they needed an incentive request to help offset construction costs.
“Other than adding eight jobs what do they bring to the community,” Branch asked, noting, along with Councilmember Place 6 Tom Crowley, that the company would not directly bring sales tax dollars to the city.
“There are no sales tax dollars directly associated with what they will build,” Houk responded. “It is eight jobs to start. They anticipate in three years having more than 20 jobs. We’re talking about geologists, engineers, CPAs - those types of jobs.”
The incentive request, approved 5-1, is a reimbursement grant for 25 percent of construction not to exceed $33,000 to offset the cost associated with development at the office location at 115 FM 2453 in Royse City. Resolute Compliance, LLC offers environmental, health, safety, regulatory and construction compliance services across multiple industries. The new office location in Royse City will bring eight professional jobs to the city.