City Council approves lower tax rate, major projects in FY2020 budget
City Council this week approved investments in the city’s roads, public safety, park system and more — as well as a sixth cut to the tax rate in as many years — in its unanimous support of Keller’s Fiscal Year 2019-20 Budget.
“This budget represents months of hard work...and continues our tradition of conservative fiscal management paired with a commitment to our core values," City Manager Mark Hafner said. “As always, we remain focused on exploring new opportunities to provide high levels of service to our citizens in a manner that is both innovative and resourceful.”
This year’s plans will be accomplished with a sixth consecutive cut to the tax rate — a roughly 1.3-cent reduction — pushing Keller’s municipal tax rate to the lowest it has been in more than 20 years at $0.3999 per $100 of taxable value.
The new rate will also complement City Council’s approval earlier this year to raise Keller’s homestead exemption from 10 percent to 12 percent, which means homeowners will see their city taxes based upon only 88 percent of their valuation. With the increased exemption and the lowered tax rate, the average Keller homeowner (whose house will be valued at $355,394) will pay about $1,421 this year in taxes to the city — the equivalent of $118.44 per month. Residents will also see a dip in their water rates for the first time in recent memory, which is expected to equate to a savings of about $2.56 per month for the average Keller customer.
Highlights of the $90.47 million budget include significant investments in the city's infrastructure, from committing another $2 million to the Johnson Road reconstruction project and more than $1.2 million for a roundabout at Bear Creek Parkway and Whitley Road, to investing $1.65 million in street maintenance and more than $500,000 into the city's sidewalk system. This year's budget also kicks off a new annual citywide playground replacement program, renovations to The Keller Pointe's locker rooms and indoor pool area, another $250,000 earmark for trail extensions, and maintenance to the Keller Sports Park's parking lots.
Other portions of the budget add two new positions in public safety — a police officer and dispatcher — and prepare to upgrade the technology used by our NETCOM 911 regional dispatch center to dispatch calls and create records in partnership with the cities of Colleyville, Southlake and Westlake. It also accounts for new equipment and protective clothing for firefighters, and creates a replacement fund for the Fire Department that will allow the city to cash-fund its normal big-ticket equipment items in future years as we already do for fire apparatus.
For a detailed look at the Fiscal Year 2019-20 Proposed Budget - and to find the approved budget in the near future once final edits are made - visit www.cityofkeller.com/budget. Questions may be directed to the Finance Department at 817-743-4026.