City Council Approves $500 Million Operating Budget, Reduced Property Tax Rate

The Arlington City Council approved on Thursday the $500 million Fiscal Year 2019 operating budget, which includes a property tax rate reduction for the third year in a row.

The new budget includes significant investments in public safety and technology, an expansion of the Via on-demand rideshare pilot program, grant funding to incentivize both home renovations and neighborhood improvements, and planned upgrades to multiple Arlington parks. The fiscal year begins Oct. 1, 2018.

The City of Arlington will also lower its property tax rate for a third consecutive year because of rising property values. Arlington’s property tax rate, which remained flat for 14 years, has dropped by 1.32 cents overall since 2016. The City Council voted to lower Arlington’s property tax rate from $0.6398 per $100 of assessed value to $0.6348 per $100 of assessed value for FY 2019. This change will result in tax savings for some residents.

Arlington’s 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 approved 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
  • $504,000 for AISD School Resource Officers
  • $120,000 for the operation and maintenance of new city parks
  • $123,000 to add two senior Code Compliance Office positions and equipment for the Neighborhood Enhancement Team, which will focus on proactive compliance and educational outreach.
  • $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
  • $270,000 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 $2.25 per month, or 3.93 percent, increase for the average residential water utilities customer. The fees will not be implemented until January 2019.

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

 

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