(September 19, 2018) Frisco’s property tax rate will stay the same during the next fiscal year. On Tuesday night, Frisco City Council members adopted a flat tax rate of .4466 – one of the lowest rates in North Texas. Frisco Council members also approved a $507 million total budget which takes effect October 1, 2018.
The new budget includes a $173 million General Fund. Nearly 70-percent of the General Fund pays for employee salaries and benefits. The FY19 budget supports 46 new positions including 26 police and firefighters. The budget also funds 20 part-time firefighters to work special events.
“We’re fortunate Frisco’s financial health allowed us to maintain a flat tax rate and increase the homestead exemption from 7.5 to 10 percent,” said Mayor Jeff Cheney. “We’re proud to provide our residents tax relief at a local level. Our lean practices contributed to Frisco receiving a Aaa rating from Moody’s -- the first in our city’s history, signifying financial stability for our future.”
The General Fund pays for salary increases to recruit and retain employees. It also supports a performance-based merit system for eligible employees (to average 3-percent). Rising insurance costs are covered and design will begin on an Employee Health Clinic as part of the city’s wellness program.
"Our employees are Frisco’s most important asset," said George Purefoy, City Manager. "They have public service as their top priority. As long as we are able to keep quality service to our citizens as our prime goal, Frisco will be successful."
The FY19 budget closely aligns with the city council’s Top Ten Priorities. It sets aside funds for implementing innovative traffic solutions and developing an ‘arts strategy’, which considers a Performing Arts Center. The General Fund continues to build capital reserves. It supports staff’s work to protect the city’s legislative interests and monitor action by state lawmakers.
The new budget commits dollars to downtown redevelopment, which includes designing a pedestrian friendly plaza at 4th & Main Streets. The FY19 budget dedicates capital investments to support the city’s partnership with the University of North Texas, which will build a Frisco campus in the next few years.
Developing plans to expand city facilities and master planning parks and trails are provided for in the FY19 General Fund. City leaders and staff will work to create an ‘identity’ along Frisco’s northern border, U.S. 380. The budget also supports implementing a strategic plan for the Frisco Economic Development Corporation.
“This year’s budget provides our departments with additional funding to continue offering services at the level our residents expect,” said Anita Cothran, Director of Finance. “Council’s leadership in holding the tax rate flat and providing the additional homestead exemptions to our homeowners provides financial stability over the next year in our general operating fund.”
The budget also accounts for a 2-percent water rate increase, which the city is ‘passing through’ following an increase from the North Texas Municipal Water District. The residential trash collection monthly fee will also increase $1 dollar. Both increases take effect in January 2019.