The City of Richardson’s proposed budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year is $232,217,969. The proposed amount represents an increase of $13,469,384 or 6.2 percent from the 2014-2015 estimated expenditures of $218,748,585.
“This year’s budget is designed to meet the Council’s goals to strengthen our investment in infrastructure, public safety, customer service and economic development,” said Richardson City Manager Dan Johnson. “The robust economy in Richardson is providing the resources we need to make meaningful and noticeable improvements in all of these areas, and we are very happy to not only achieve these goals but to also do so without a tax rate increase.”
Key highlights of the Proposed 2015-2016 Budget include:
- Certified Tax Roll increase of 9.01 percent - maintains current tax rate of $0.63516
- Maintains Senior Exemption at $60,000
- 1 percent of Tax Roll equals $738,000 impact
- 1 penny equals $1.2 million
- No change in tax rate
- A $234,000 increase in the funds dedicated to street maintenance for a total of approximately $3.54 million
- Eight percent rate adjustment in water and sewer services
- Sales Tax forecast of 2 percent over estimated “base to base” year-end 2014-2015 collections
- General Fund expenditures increase 3.2 percent
- Up to 5 percent step increases - for the 55 percent of employees eligible and who merit the increase
- 2.5 percent merit based increase for those employees at the top of their pay range or single step job classifications
- Funding of $2.9 million of 4-year debt financing for general equipment, vehicles and projects
The General Fund portion of the proposed 2015-2016 Budget is programmed at $114,927,193. Proposed 2015-2016 expenditures and transfers represent a $3,539,481, a 3.2 percent increase over 2014-2015 estimated expenditures of $111,387,712.
Key General Fund budget initiatives include a focus on infrastructure maintenance, continuing public safety staffing initiatives for police patrol and emergency medical service and sustaining a competitive employee compensation and benefits profile.
Increases and decreases by department between the proposed 2015-2016 Budget and 2014-2015 estimated expenditures for the General Fund are illustrated on page 8 of the Proposed Budget, exclusive of debt financed capital equipment.
General Fund Revenues
The proposed tax rate for the support of the 2015-2016 General Fund expenditures is submitted at a rate of $0.63516 per $100 of assessed valuation reflecting no increase from the 2014-2015 tax rate. Apportionment of the proposed $0.63516 per $100 of assessed valuation rate is $0.38031 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 $7,575,894,179 for Dallas County and $4,672,143,113 for Collin County for a 2015 total Certified Tax Roll of $12,248,037,292 reflecting an increase of $1,012,579,195 or 9.01 percent from the 2014 final certified tax roll. The submitted 2014-2015 Budget is based on these taxable values plus $73,115,057 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 $707,085,025.
Remaining revenue projections are based primarily on historical trends and conservative growth indicators. The revenues projected for the General Fund for the proposed 2015-2016 Budget represent an increase of $4,531,345 or 4.1 percent from 2014-2015 estimated revenues. Sales Tax for 2015-2016 is projected at $29,528,961 reflecting a decrease of $292,704 or a 1.0 percent decrease from 2014-2015 year-end estimated revenues.
Water and Sewer Fund
The proposed 2015-2016 Budget for the Water and Sewer Fund including debt service is submitted at $63,651,401. This represents an increase of $5,291,791 or 9.1 percent from the 2014-2015 estimated expenditures. Included in the proposed expenditures for the 2015-2016 Water and Sewer Fund is $24,234,223 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 proposed budget for the purchase of water anticipates an additional $0.23 per thousand gallons or $2.5 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 $761,558 over the year end estimate of $12,512,442 to allow for changes in flow.
Beyond the proposed operational expenditures, funding of $5,479,000 is required for the debt service requirements associated with our ongoing multi-year utility capital improvement program. Increases and decreases by departments between the proposed 2015-2016 Budget and 2014-2015 estimated expenditures are illustrated on page 12 of the Proposed Budget, exclusive of debt financed capital.
Water and Sewer Revenues
Proposed Water and Sewer Fund revenues of $65,956,063 reflect an increase of $8,086,001 or 14.0 percent from the 2014-2015 estimate based on the assumption of normal consumption and normal weather patterns. A 8.0 percent rate increase is requested with this budget. The increase would go into effect with the first billing in November of 2015. As the new fiscal year begins, water and sewer sale and consumption patterns will be tracked and monitored closely in anticipation of possible need to increase rates in the future.
Solid Waste Services Fund
The 2015-2016 Budget for the Solid Waste Services Fund is proposed at $13,516,192 representing a 2.0 percent or $261,441 increase from the 2014-2015 Estimate. The disposal fees paid to NTMWD are budgeted at $4,213,725, a 4.0 percent increase over the year-end estimate due to a modest increase in the disposal fees charged by NTMWD. Necessary vehicle and container replacements are also included in the proposed 2015-2016 Budget for the Solid Waste Services Fund.
Solid Waste Fund Revenues
Solid Waste revenues are programmed at $12,957,815 for 2015-2016, a decrease of 0.2 percent from the 2014-2015 estimate. The use of fund balance in the Solid Waste Fund will result in continued review and study of these operations.
Total expenditures and transfers for the Golf Fund for fiscal year 2015-2016 are proposed at $2,167,899 reflecting an increase of 9.3 percent above estimated 2014-2015 expenditures.
Golf Fund Revenues
Golf Fund revenues are projected at $2,196,450 based on estimated rounds and reflects a reopening of Course #1.
Hotel/Motel Tax Fund
The 2015-2016 Budget for the Hotel/Motel Tax Fund is proposed at $6,383,130, which is an increase of $220,429 or 3.6 percent from 2014-2015 estimated. The proposed budget reflects funding for the fourteenth 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 $6,210,672 for 2015-2016 reflecting a $381,461 or 6.5 percent increase from estimated 2014-2015. Hotel motel tax receipts are projected at $4,011,505 reflecting a 2.0 percent increase or $78,096 above estimated 2014-2015. 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 $225,000. Eisemann Center fees are projected at $1,970,914 or 16.1 percent above the 2014-2015 estimate. Eisemann Center revenue projections for 2015-2016 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 (60.02 days) and in the Solid Waste Services Fund (90.21 days). The Water and Sewer Service Fund (79.74) is below the targeted fund balance for fiscal year 2015-2016, but there is a strategy to be back to the fund balance target by the end of 2016-2017 through a blended strategy of increased consumption and strategic increases to the rate structure based on increasing wholesale costs.