The City of Richardson's proposed budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year is $216,593,734. The proposed amount represents an increase of $4,970,031 or 2.3 percent from the 2013-2014 estimated expenditures of $211,623,703.
"The City Council's Goals provide the strong guidance in the development of this 2014-2015 budget work plan. Initiatives for enhanced public safety, infrastructure maintenance and economic development are all responsive to our focus on quality municipal services,” said Richardson City Manager Dan Johnson. “This budget continues the City Council’s active attention on maintenance. The specific allocation for road improvements funded from the dedicated property tax allocation has been increased from 1.75 pennies of the tax rate to 2 pennies."
Key highlights of the Proposed 2014-2015 Budget include:
- Certified Tax Roll increase of 4.9 percent - maintains current tax rate of $0.63516
- Increased Senior Exemption from $55,000 to $60,000
- 1 percent of Tax Roll equals $687,000 impact
- 1 penny equals $1.1 million
- No change in tax rate
- A $367,000 increase in the funds dedicated to street maintenance for a total of approximately $2.7 million
- 9.5 percent rate adjustment in water and sewer services
- Sales Tax forecast of 3 percent over estimated “base to base” year-end 2013-2014 collections
- General Fund expenditures increase 2.9 percent
- Up to 5 percent step increases - for the 61 percent of employees eligible and who merit the increase
- 2 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 2014-2015 Budget is programmed at $109,114,152. Proposed 2014-2015 expenditures and transfers represent a $3,055,479, a 2.9 percent increase over 2013-2014 estimated expenditures of $106,058,673.
Key General Fund budget initiatives include a focus on infrastructure maintenance, launching of public safety staffing initiatives for police patrol and emergency medical services, economic development strategies and increased resources for parks maintenance.
Increases and decreases by department between the proposed 2014-2015 Budget and 2013-2014 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 2014-2015 General Fund expenditures is submitted at a rate of $0.63516 per $100 of assessed valuation reflecting no increase from the 2013-2014 tax rate. Apportionment of the proposed $0.63516 per $100 of assessed valuation rate is $0.37031 for operations and maintenance funds to be used toward daily operating expenses and $0.26485 for debt service based on full valuation.
This tax rate is predicated on certified tax roll of $6,987,343,111 for Dallas County and $4,248,114,986 for Collin County for a 2014 total Certified Tax Roll of $11,235,458,097 reflecting an increase of $528,046,407 or 4.9 percent from the 2013 final certified tax roll. The submitted 2014-2015 Budget is based on these taxable values plus $39,536,840 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 $427,179,942.
Remaining revenue projections are based primarily on historical trends and conservative growth indicators. The revenues projected for the General Fund for the proposed 2014-2015 Budget represent an increase of $3,244,963 or 3.1 percent from 2013-2014 estimated revenues. Sales Tax for 2014-2015 is projected at $29,223,403 reflecting a $701,409 or 2.5 percent increase from 2013-2014 year-end estimated revenues.
Water and Sewer Fund
The proposed 2014-2015 Budget for the Water and Sewer Fund including debt service is submitted at $59,137,954. This represents an increase of $3,096,343 or 5.5 percent from the 2013-2014 estimated expenditures. Included in the proposed expenditures for the 2014-2015 Water and Sewer Fund is $21,699,782 associated with the water purchase requirement from the North Texas Municipal Water District, representing 36.7 percent of the total expenses and transfers in this fund.
The proposed budget for the purchase of water anticipates an additional $0.19 per thousand gallons or $2.1 million increase in wholesale water rates from North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) in accordance with their multi-year financial plans. With no significant rate increases expected from our service providers for the treatment of raw sewage, sewer treatment services are expected to increase $604,000 over the year end estimate of $12,323,295 to allow for changes in flow.
Beyond the proposed operational expenditures, funding of $5,340,000 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 2014-2015 Budget and 2013-2014 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 $59,874,411 reflect an increase of $5,859,876 or 10.8 percent from the 2013-2014 estimate based on the assumption of continued Stage 3 restrictions through the second quarter with a slow return to normal consumption by year-end. A 9.5 percent rate increase is requested with this budget. The increase would go into effect with the first billing in November of 2014. 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 2014-2015 Budget for the Solid Waste Services Fund is proposed at $13,043,160 representing a 1.3 percent or $161,991 increase from the 2013-2014 Estimate. The disposal fees paid to NTMWD are budgeted at $3,765,350, a 2 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 2014-2015 Budget for the Solid Waste Services Fund.
Solid Waste Fund Revenues
Solid Waste revenues are programmed at $12,773,879 for 2014-2015, an increase of 0.3 percent over 2013-2014 estimated. A 5 percent increase in commercial frontload services to bring Richardson in-line with current market services is included in this budget. 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 2014-2015 are proposed at $2,106,155 reflecting an increase of 0.3 percent above estimated 2013-2014 expenditures.
Golf Fund Revenues
Golf Fund revenues are projected at $1,875,426 based on estimated rounds and reflects a renovation of Course #1, which will necessitate closing this course from February/March 2015 and reopening in August/September 2015.
Hotel/Motel Tax Fund
The 2014-2015 Budget for the Hotel/Motel Tax Fund is proposed at $5,885,846, which is an increase of $322,312 or 5.8 percent from 2013-2014 estimated. The proposed budget reflects funding for the thirteenth 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 increased funding for arts initiatives.
Hotel/Motel Tax Revenues
Total revenues for the Hotel/Motel Tax Fund are projected at $5,992,269 for 2014-2015 reflecting a $322,923 or 5.7 percent increase from estimated 2013-2014. Hotel motel tax receipts are projected at $3,677,926 reflecting a 2.0 percent increase or $73,717 above estimated 2013-2014. 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 $226,300. Eisemann Center fees are projected at $2,086,692 or 13.2 percent above the 2013-2014 estimate. Eisemann Center revenue projections for 2014-2015 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 (60.09 days) and in the Solid Waste Services Fund (93.28 days). The Water and Sewer Service Fund (80.45) is below the targeted fund balance for fiscal year 2014-2015, 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.