Arlington City Manager Proposes $500 Million Budget for 2019

The Arlington City Council took its first look Tuesday at the proposed $500 million Fiscal Year 2019 operating budget, which includes a property tax rate reduction for the third year in a row.

Proposals for next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, include significant investments in public safety and technology, an expansion of the Via rideshare pilot program, grant funding to incentivize both home renovations and neighborhood improvements, and planned upgrades to multiple Arlington parks.

The budget, which the Council will vote on in September, also includes funding for the last year of a three-year compensation plan to make city employee salaries and benefits more competitive with area North Texas cities.

Even with these additions, the City of Arlington is proposing to lower its property tax rate for a third consecutive year because of rising property values. The City Council will consider whether to reduce Arlington’s property tax rate, currently is $0.6398 per $100 of assessed value, by another 0.5 cent. If approved, Arlington’s property tax rate, which remained flat for 14 years, will have dropped by 1.32 cents since 2016, to $0.6348 proposed for FY 2019. This change will result in tax savings for some residents.

Arlington, recently named the best-run city in Texas, strives to provide quality services and amenities to its residents, visitors and business community at the lowest possible cost. The City’s revenue to pay for these valuable services and amenities comes largely from property taxes and sales taxes. The City projects it will collect $107.8 million in General Fund property taxes and $64.5 million in General Fund sales taxes during the coming fiscal year, both of which are healthy increases over the current year.

Click here to read a two-page Taxpayer Investment Value Guide.

Arlington’s proposed budget and business plan is built around supporting the City Council’s five priorities: Champion Great Neighborhoods, Support Youth and Families, Invest in Our Economy, Enhance Regional Mobility and Put Technology to Work. The Council recently expanded its former Support Quality Education priority into Support Youth and Families, as children and families are the essential building blocks for the future of our American Dream City.

Highlights from the proposed budget include:

  • $1.1 million for a COPS grant that has provided 15 police officers and $350,000 for four new fire positions
  • Additional funding for an on-street autonomous vehicle testing pilot program in the Entertainment District
  • $100,000 for interstate mowing and litter clean up to increase the service level TxDOT already provides and funding for green screen corridor enhancement in Arlington neighborhoods
  • $150,000 for the Neighborhood Matching Grant Program
  • $502,000 for AISD School Resource Officers
  • $120,000 for enhancements to multiple city parks
  • $100,000 for cyber security upgrades and an additional $980,000 for investments in public safety technology, including the Police Department’s digital video system
  • $450,000 for participation in a regional disparity study
  • A new proposed Code Compliance position to manage short-term rentals and an engineer in Stormwater
  • $77,500 for a payroll staff accountant
  • $280,000 for police civilian investigators
  • 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 $2.01 per month, or 6.18 percent, increase for the average residential water utilities customer. The fees, if approved, would not be implemented until January.

Click here for the City of Arlington’s budget page to read more about the proposed budget and business plan.

Please join us to provide your input at upcoming budget town hall meetings.

Town Hall Meeting No. 1

  • 6:30 p.m. Thursday, August 23
  • Arlington Police South District Service Center, 1030 S.W. Green Oaks Blvd.

Town Hall Meeting No. 2

  • 6:30 p.m. Thursday, August 30
  • Arlington City Hall, Council Chambers, 101 W. Abram St.

 

9 thoughts on “Arlington City Manager Proposes $500 Million Budget for 2019”

  1. I encourage all concerned citizens to attend one of the upcoming Town Hall Meetings to discuss the 2019 FY Budget. Also, communicate with your council representative about concerns and questions in advance. The City is coming up on the November 6 election very quickly with lots of important issues to decide whixch will impact our government format for years to come.

  2. So if the heavily advertised reduction in property tax rate actually brings in 8.26% more tax money than last year, why are we not seeing a property tax rate reduction equal to 8.26%. Sounds like everybody that works for the City is getting a much bigger raise than what I got, or else a lot of city contractors are getting much better prices than last year. Just smells fishy.

    1. Larry, it’s possible for the tax rate to go down, and you’re individual taxes may or may not go down as that rate is multiplied by your property tax assessment. It’s very possible for existing individual tax bills to go down and the Tax Receipts for a city could still go up (such as the 8.6% revenue increase cited) because brand new homes, commercial buildings and other real estate is being built and added to the Tax Rolls; it is these new tax payers that produce the most important revenue increases. Ideally, if we could bring new tax payers on the rolls while simultaneously reducing or flattening tax payments from us old timer owners then that would be a terrific accomplishment – that’s the challenge!

  3. Nothing was mentioned about the outrageous School Tax. Wonder why? I have 4 small rental properties that my husband and I bought for income when we could no longer work. It requires the entire annual rental income from two of my rentals to pay the property tax, and it goes up every year! I have no children in school, am 80 years old, and the school tax, for me, is taxation without representation! Rental property is not always rented, much of the time the are vacant due to the destruction of property and non payment of rent. Eviction by law is more expensive, because tenants get an additional month with no rent, and absolutely destroy the property in those 30 days!
    Thanks to the school tax my income is severely affected! I think the city of Arlington is aware of this unfair tax, and that is exactly why it was not mentioned in the Mayors explanation of Arlington’s taxes. $74 times 12 months is $888.00. That is the Mayors statement. One of my rental property’s is a 3-2-2 track home built in the early 80’s, has less than 1350 sq. ft.. Never been remodeled, still has all original appliances,
    The property tax on the house in 2017 was over $3200
    dollars! The difference in the Mayors $888.00 per year and what I was charged, I.e. over $$3200.00 is $2312.00! So explain that to the residents of Arlington, because I’d like for you, Mr. Mayor, to figure my taxes rather than TAD, because something is certainly wrong in the facts presented in your video!

    1. Thank you for the comment, Mary. Property taxes for the other taxing entities – AISD, county, hospital and college districts – are included in your annual tax bill. The portion of your property taxes that go to the City is roughly a quarter of every dollar.

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