BY CHRISTINA DERR
The Springtown city council took one of the first official steps in adopting its 2018-19 tax rate, and if the budget process continues on course, the property tax rate from the city is expected to decrease slightly.
The council took a record vote Aug. 6 to proceed in adopting a tax rate of 58.69645 cents per $100 valuation – marginally lower than this year’s rate of 59 cents.
During its budget workshop that Monday, the council again heard from the Finance Director Beverly Griffith and City Administrator David Miller on 2018-19 plans.
“We are able to accomplish this year’s budget with no tax increase to our citizens,” Miller while introducing the presentation.
Just over 56.6 percent of property taxes will be devoted to the city’s operations or its general fund – the remainder will go to service the city’s outstanding debt.
The 32.25644 cents of the property tax rate is expected to bring in $605,612, a $25,000 increase from 2017-18.
These funds combined with an expected $1.66 million in sales and franchise taxes and $603,522 in other revenues are expected to comprise a general fund budget of $2.83 million – a 5.6 percent increase from the budget of the current fiscal year.
Added to the $1.78 million enterprise (water and sewer) fund and the $481,509 debt service fund, the total expenses for the city are expected to be $5.17 million for the coming fiscal year.
All budgets are balanced, Miller said, which permits the city to begin the new year with “positive momentum.”
He added, “It allows the city of Springtown to live within its means. Everything you see in this budget is what it takes to operate the city efficiently.”
Much of the $150,523 increase in expected general fund expenditures comes from two sources.
The first is a new pay structure that takes years of service into account for raises that, along with other adjustments for retirement, overtime, and insurance, will add $64,808 to the budget – or an increase of less than three percent of the entire personnel budget.
The second comes from the acquisition new equipment for the police department.
The city will purchase a much-needed new patrol vehicle as well as upgraded computers and in-car cameras at a total of $65,635.
SPD will also be adding a second school resource officer position; two-thirds of the cost for that officer will be covered by Springtown ISD with the city funding the other third of the position.