Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 03/27/2019  

SUBJECT MATTER:
Receive, consider and act upon adoption of 2019 Budget Calendar; 
FISCAL IMPACT:
Not applicable
BACKGROUND:
The proposed meeting schedule for review and approval of the 2020 budget and 2019 property tax rate is attached for the Board’s consideration (Attachment A).  The calendar has been drafted assuming the following guidelines, legal requirements, and deadlines.
 
  • Current legislation regarding property taxation and truth-in-taxation requirements remains in effect.
  • Previous Boards have expressed a desire to conduct all budget workshop meetings during the same calendar week.
  • Previous Boards have preferred to schedule budget workshops only after effective tax rate and rollback tax rate information is available from the Tax Assessor’s Office.
  • The Montgomery County Tax Assessor is tentatively scheduled to publish effective and rollback tax rates on Monday, August 5, 2019.
  • At the conclusion of its budget workshop meetings, the Board must take a vote on a proposed tax rate to determine if public hearings are required.As a reminder, if the Board approves a proposed tax rate greater than the lower of the effective tax rate or the rollback rate, two public hearings are required before the Board can vote on the adopted tax rate.
  • A “Notice of Public Meeting on Tax Increase” must be published a minimum of seven days prior to the first public hearing on the tax rate.The notice is published in the newspaper and on the Township’s website.The tax rate ultimately adopted by the Board may be lower than the published proposed rate, but it cannot be higher.
  • There must be at least three days between the first and second public hearings.
  • The tax rate must be adopted by the governing body between 3 – 14 days after the second public hearing.
  • The Montgomery County tax assessor is requiring each governing body to submit its adopted tax rate no later than September 13, 2019 in order to be included on the consolidated tax statement that will be mailed to taxpayers during the first week of October 2019.
     
     
    As you are aware, the Texas Legislature is considering changes to property taxation.  The proposed language in Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 2 includes two primary revisions to current legislation regarding the rollback rate:
     
  • The annual increase used to determine the rollback rate is lowered from 8.0% to 2.5% for cities with combined annual property and sales tax revenue of $15 million or more.
  • A mandatory election on the November uniform election date is required for all taxing units that propose a property tax rate that exceeds the rollback rate.Current law provides for a citizen-initiated petition to have an election, but not a mandatory one.
     
    As currently drafted, the proposed legislation would impact the Township’s traditional budget calendar that is outlined in Attachment A.  This is because “the tax rate must be approved by the governing body of a taxing unit at least 71 days before the November uniform election date, if the governing body adopts a tax rate that exceeds the rollback rate.”  Also, the proposed legislation requires only one public hearing on the tax rate rather than the two public hearings that are currently required.
     
    In order for the Board of Directors to have the flexibility to approve a tax rate that exceeds the rollback rate, the Township’s property tax would need to be adopted no later than Monday, August 26, 2019 to allow for the required 71-day period prior to the November 5, 2019 uniform election date.  Using August 26, 2019 as the end date for the budget calendar and allowing sufficient time for required notices and the public hearing, it would be necessary to push the budget workshop meetings up to the week of July 29 – August 2, 2019. 
     
    The suggested budget calendar assuming the proposed property tax legislation passes in its current form is outlined in Attachment B.  For planning purposes, staff wanted to make the Directors aware of the potential changes to the budget review and adoption dates.
RECOMMENDATION:
Approve the meeting schedule for the review and approval of the 2020 budget and 2019 property tax rate.
 
Attachments
Attachment A: Budget Meeting Calendar based on current property tax legislation
Attachment B: Budget Meeting Calendar based on proposed property tax legislation


    

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