City Council Approves $478 Million Operating Budget, Reduced Property Tax Rate

The Arlington City Council approved the $478 million Fiscal Year 2018 operating budget, which includes a property tax rate reduction for the second year in a row.

The new budget includes significant investments in public safety and technology, expenses related to the reopening of Ditto Golf Course and the opening of the new Downtown Library as well as implementation of voter-approved Civil Service for the Arlington Fire Department. The fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

The City of Arlington will also lower its property tax rate for a second consecutive year because of rising property values. Last year, the City Council lowered the rate by a quarter cent. This year, the City Council approved reducing Arlington’s property tax rate, currently 64.48 cents per $100 of assessed value, by half a cent. This will result in a property tax savings for some residents.

The proposed budget and business plan is built around supporting the City Council’s five priorities: Champion Great Neighborhoods, Support Quality Education, Invest in Our Economy, Enhance Regional Mobility and Put Technology to Work.

Highlights from the proposed budget include:

  • $490,000 for seven new Arlington Police Department positions: a defensive tactics coordinator, school resource officer, jail court assistance and four detention officers.
  • $550,000 to reopen the Ditto Golf Course in North Arlington, with expenses to be covered by park user fees. Click here to read more about the renovations.
  • $721,000 to implement Civil Service for the Arlington Fire Department, which was approved by Arlington voters last November. Click here to read more about the Civil Service proposition.
  • $150,000 to move the collection into the new George W. Hawkes Downtown Library, set to open next year, and restore part-time salary funding that was cut when the former downtown library closed. Click here to read more about the new library.
  • $6.8 million to go toward increased employee pay and pension benefits. The budget also includes funding for the second year of a three-year compensation plan to make city employee salaries and benefits more competitive with area North Texas cities.
  • An estimated $1.6 million increase in property and sales tax revenue for the City from the expiration of the Parks Mall Chapter 380 agreement and the Arlington Highlands Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone.
  • Increased fees from the Trinity River Authority to the City and necessary upgrades for the John Kubala Water Treatment Plant are expected to result in a $4.34 per month, or 8.1 percent, increase for the average residential water utilities customer. The fees, if approved, would not be implemented until January.
  • $150,000 to increase security at City Hall and the new Central Library when it opens next year.
  • $932,000 for infrastructure investments at the Arlington Convention Center
  • $1.4 million for public safety technology upgrades
  • $200,000 to update the Downtown Master Plan.