Little Elm Journal > News
Little Elm Town Council approves budget, tax rate
The Little Elm Town Council approved the 2012 Fiscal Year Budget and Tax Rate Tuesday at the regular meeting. With no change to the tax rate this year, the approved budget will raise less total property taxes than the previous year by $319,371, or 3.18 percent.
"The Town Council has adopted a solid, conservative budget without raising taxes and other rates, user fees and charges," said Alan Dickerson, Little Elm finance director, in an email.
The approved tax rate remains the same as last year at $0.664971 per $100 of assessed valuation. With the tax rate lowered by 3.18 percent, taxes on a typical $100,000 residential home will be lowered by approximately $21.20.
The projected property tax revenue is expected to be $10,502,091. Although the tax rate remained the same at $0.664971, there is a slight increase in the property tax as a result of new growth value by 2.75 percent.
The town relies heavily upon property taxes as a revenue source at about 48 percent in the general fund. Included in the budget are one-time capital and operation expenditures of $1.3 million and increasing reoccurring personnel costs by $875,000. The approved budget included one-time costs for funding renovations of the old fire administration building for parks administration and purchasing capital outlays such as vehicles and equipment. It also includes adding personnel because of growth in service demands.
Despite these one-time expenditures, the town is able to maintain a healthy fund balance consistent with financial policies. The proposed beginning general fund balance is $6,465,011 with an ending fund balance of $5,028,230. Of that amount, $3,536,171 is part of the required "rainy day" fund as unreserved and undesignated at 25-percent of expenditures. The remaining $1,492,060 is designated as unreserved funds for unbudgeted items or unforeseen expenditures that may arise.
In the 2012-13 Town Wide Budget, total projected revenue is expected to be $34,269,000, with $19,845,887 estimated for general purpose operations. Projected total expenditures are $36,700,000 with 58 percent budgeted fro general purpose operations.
Peach said the town practices very conservative budgeting. The 2011-12 general fund was budgeted at $14.9 million; the town has estimated for the same year about $16.8 million, which is about a 13-percent increase in revenue to what was budgeted. The revenue increase is attributed to the growth in the building of commercial and residential construction permitting fees.
The council also approved funding for a 3-percent grade step increase based on a pass/fail merit for town department employees that are currently being evaluated. If an employee receives a passing score after the evaluation, then that employee becomes eligible for the increase.
Also included in the budget are 20 new full-time equivalent staff positions. Some of those new positions were additional park staffing and a new narcotics detective for the police department.