Burnet citizens can give their opinions and express questions about the proposed 2020-21 fiscal year budget and tax rate at a public hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, at the City Council Chambers at the Burnet Municipal Airport, US 281 South, Burnet.
The city is proposing a tax rate of 62.31 cents per $100 valuation, which is equal to the voter-approval tax rate, or the highest tax rate that City of Burnet may adopt without holding an election to seek voter approval of the rate. All six City Council members and the mayor voted in favor of the proposed tax rate, which is 0.06 cents less than last year’s tax rate of 62.37 cents.
The city’s no-new-revenue tax rate, or the tax rate for the 2020 tax year that will raise the same amount of property tax revenue for City of Burnet from the same properties in both the 2019 tax year and the 2020 tax year, is 60.25 cents per $100 valuation. This was formerly known as the effective rate.
Because the proposed tax rate is not greater than the voter-approval tax rate, the city is not required to hold an election at which voters may accept or reject the proposed tax rate.
The average homestead taxable value in Burnet has increased about six percent from $194,488 in 2019 to $205,220 in 2020. With the new tax rate, the tax on the average homestead will increase by five percent from $1,213 to $1,279. The total tax levy on all properties for 2020 will be $2,685,832, an increase of eight percent above the 2019 tax levy of $2,492,603.
The city is proposing a budget which includes a three-percent salary increase for all employees, which is comprised of both a merit and a cost of living component. The building official position, which is currently vacant, will be repalced with the use of ATS for contract inspections, and no new positions were added to the budget with the exception of the continuation of a parttime evidence tech within the Burnet Police Department.
The budget calls for total revenues of $26,745,478 against total expenditures of $25,607,553, leaving a net profit of $1,137,925 when calculating all unrestricted operating funds (excluding capital expenses). The total budget, when restricted funds are included, calls for $32,004,208 in revenues against $30,631,680 in expenditures for a net profit of $1,372,528.
The general fund calls for total revenues of $12,490,704, including the use of $690,000 in fund balance to cover capital expenses, against expenditures of $12,141,005, for a net operating profit of $349,698. The city has been helped by a significant increase in sales tax collections due to a change in state law which now requires online sales to be taxed as well as a $31 million increase in ad valorem taxable valuaiton.
The Delaware Springs Golf Course fund calls for revenues of $1,707,874, including a transfer for $131,717 from the general fund, against expenditures of $1,707,875. An increase in green fees and cart fees approved by the City Council at mid-year resulted in a significant increase in revenue, while the council also instituted a cap in general fund operating transfers to the golf course of $185,000.
The electric fund includes revenues of $9,046,400 against $8,603,426 in expenditures and $51,740 in debt service for a net operating profit of $391,234, while the water/wastewater fund calls for revenues of $4,300,500 against expenditures of $2,926,748 and debt service of $976,759 for a net operating profit of $396,993.