City Council Regular Session Agenda

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  Agenda Item 9.       
Meeting Date: 08/01/2017  
Item Title:    Consider proposing a tax rate to be considered during the budget approval and tax rate setting process for FY 2017/2018 and establishing a schedule for adopting a budget and setting a tax rate for FY 2017/2018
Submitted By: Brad Neighbor

Summary of Request/Problem
State law mandates an explicit, detailed, and complex process for the adoption of municipal budgets and the setting of tax rates by local governments. Those laws (as well as the City Charter) require a series of notices to the public, at least one public hearing for the adoption of a budget, and at least two public hearings for the setting of a tax rate. Traditionally, Garland has provided much more opportunity for public input than the required minimums. By setting hearings on the budget and the tax rate at the same meetings, the citizens are also provided an opportunity to address both the budget and the tax rate without making multiple trips to City Hall to speak on either or both.

The tax rate setting and budget approval processes (the two being both legally and practically intertwined) are triggered by the receipt of an appraisal roll from Dallas Central Appraisal District. The appraisal roll, together with a certification of a collection rate and a calculation of the effective and rollback tax rates (generally known as a “truth in taxation” form, a copy of which is attached), is then submitted to the City Council. A notice of a proposed tax rate (actually a notice of public hearings on a proposed tax rate) is then issued (a copy of that form is attached) and hearings are set.

There are two key deadlines involved in the tax rate process: August 1 for the submission of the appraisal roll and August 7 for the submission of the rates. After the process has been initiated by those events, the City Council must establish dates for public hearings on those matters. Notices of the public hearings must be published and posted in the manner and form required by law. The attached checklist provides more detail as to what is required for postings.

Similarly, under the City Charter the filing and presentation of a proposed budget must be made to the City Council before August 15, and the proposed budget must also be filed with the City Secretary on or before that date. If the proposed budget will raise property tax revenues above current year revenues, certain disclosures must appear on and as part of the filed budget. The filing and presentation of the proposed budget triggers certain publication and notice requirements that are separate from the publications and notices required to set a tax rate.  If the City Council desires to make amendments to the proposed budget, those changes must be made and approved by not less than five affirmative votes on or before September 20.  

The adoption of a final tax rate and budget must be done within the periods provided by law and must be done using certain prescribed formalities for motions and voting.

An outline of current state law and City Charter requirements is attached along with the proposed schedules for tax rate and budget hearings. Please note that some of the proposed dates are meetings at which the City Council may receive and debate information, not necessarily public hearings. More than the required minimums for public input is, however, provided. The City Council is requested to set public hearings on the budget and on the tax rate for August 15, 2017 and August 24, 2017.

There is a narrow window of opportunity within the time allotted for the adoption of a budget (generally September 15) which, in turn, provides a deadline for the adoption of a tax rate. After the schedule is adopted, moving the approved dates becomes legally problematic and will entail additional costs of publication.
Recommendation/Action Requested and Justification
The City Council is requested to propose a tax rate of 70.46 cents per $100 of valuation to be considered during the tax rate setting process, and to establish a schedule for the public hearings that must be held as part of the tax rate and budget approval processes.  

Action requested:


"I call for two Public Hearings to be held on the proposed ad valorem tac rate of 70.46 cents per $100 of valuation - which is scheduled for adoption on September 5, 2017 at 7:00 P.M. in City Hall, 200 N. Fifth Street, Garland, Texas.  The Public Hearings will be held on:

(1) Tuesday, August 15, 2017, at 7:00 P.M. at City Hall, 200 N. Fifth Street, Garland, Texas.
(2) Thursday, August 24, 2017, also at 7:00 P.M. at City Hall, 200 N. Fifth Street, Garland, Texas. 
Checklist of budget & tax rate adoption requirements
Proposed Schedule of Budget Hearings
Notice of 2017 Tax Year Proposed Property Tax Rate for the City of Garland
2017 Tax Rate Calculation Worksheet


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