At their meeting Monday night, September 21, the Rockwall City Council voted to adopt a rate below the no new revenue rate (formerly known as the effective rate), which continues a seven-year trend to decrease the tax rate for Rockwall residents. The approved tax rate is 1.79 cents less than the rate last year. Also at the meeting, the Council adopted the budget for fiscal year 2020-2021.
The City Council directed staff to prepare a balanced budget based on the no new revenue rate, which allows the City to collect the same amount in taxes as the year before, as calculated by formulas prescribed by the state. The new tax rate of 37.00 cents per $100 of valuation is down from the 38.79 cents adopted for the previous year. The actual change in ad valorem tax for any individual property is also a function of its assessed value.
This year’s COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic uncertainty have led City leaders to take a cautious approach to the budget. While the City of Rockwall continues to be financially healthy, in light of recent events, the budget will remain conservative.
“This year has called for unprecedented measures in so many areas of life,” said Rockwall Mayor, Jim Pruitt. “As a City Council, we have taken great strides to ensure we don’t add to the financial load of our residents during these challenging times. We are happy to adopt a balanced budget that continues to provide the high quality services our residents enjoy, without burdening our taxpayers in doing so.”
The new budget continues to address important services such as public safety, parks and recreation, and street repair and maintenance. Items addressed in this budget do not pertain to the Street Repair Bond approved by voters in 2018. Several factors combined to enable the City to utilize a rate below the no new revenue rate without making substantial cuts to the budget, including sales tax revenue coupled with significant increases in growth-related new value. The City’s new fiscal year begins on October 1, 2020.