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, 3rd Floor Council Briefing Room, 101 W. Abram St.