City Council set the preliminary tax rate for Fiscal Year 2019 at 75.75 cents, the rollback rate, at a special meeting tonight. The preliminary rate may not be exceeded when adopted with the budget.
Council deliberated three alternatives in setting the tax rate. The current rate of 74.98 cents is the same rate the City has maintained since Fiscal Year 2015. The effective rate of 74.49 cents is the rate that would be required to generate the same amount of tax revenue in Fiscal Year 2019 as in 2018. The rollback rate, at 75.75 cents, is the rate that if exceeded gives citizens the right to petition for an election to reduce it.
Because there is a proposed tax rate increase, the State of Texas requires that the City hold two public hearings. City Council set these hearings on September 4 and 11.
In a workshop that began before and resumed after the special meeting, City staff continued departmental presentations of the proposed budget keeping deliberations on schedule for September 18 budget adoption.
Aviation, Drainage, Solid Waste and Water and Sewer enterprise funds and departments were presented along with departments belonging to multiple funds, which include Human Resources, Information Technology, Public Works and Fleet Services. Finally, the Capital Improvements Fund detailed scheduled projects for the coming year.
Tonight’s was the third in a series of budget meetings. Last week, General Fund departmental presentations were made by the City’s Legal Department, City Auditor, City Manager, Communications Department, Community Development Department, Community Services Department, Finance Department, Fire Department, Planning and Development Department and Police Department.
As delivered August 7, the proposed Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Budget and Plan of Municipal Services is balanced with $181 million in projected expenditures falling within estimated revenue and an overall ending fund balance projected at 21.33 percent. The initial proposal did not contain a proposed tax rate increase; however, City Council has since set the preliminary rate at 75.75 cents. There remain no proposed increases in utility fees or user fees.
Budget discussions will continue August 28 with Debt Services and Special Revenue funds to close out departmental presentations. Community partner presentations are also scheduled for seven outside agencies that receive annual appropriations from the City and are proposed to be funded in the coming budget. Those agencies are Bell County Communications Center, Tax Appraisal District of Bell County, Bell County Health Department, Killeen Economic Development Corporation, Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce, Hill Country Transit District (The HOP) and Killeen Volunteers, Inc.
City Council will continue deliberating the proposal through budget adoption. Fiscal Year 2019 begins October 1, 2018 and ends September 30, 2019.
The entire proposed budget is available at KilleenTexas.gov/Budget along with links to all documents, presentations, notices and videos. In addition to viewing materials, the public is encouraged to engage in the process by attending budget workshops and participating in the budget and tax rate public hearing September 4 and a second tax rate public hearing September 11.