City Budget and Finances
The City Budget and Budget Process
How does the City of Southlake spend tax payer money? It's a simple question with a complex answer. What follows is the high-level explanation of the City of Southlake's budget process.
Each year, the City Manager, the Chief Financial Officer, and City staff put together a financial plan for the following year. The process begins in October and continues until the budget is filed in August.
Strategic planning plays an integral role in the development of each year's balanced budget. The planning ensures the City's ability to meet the needs of our community. Each budget develops and monitors the City's five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), Southlake 2030 & 2035 (The City's Comprehensive Development Plans) and each department's business plan.
To be effective, the City must be deliberate and direct resources to those areas most essential to the community's well-being. Residents help guide this process through the biennial Citizen Satisfaction Survey and by talking with the City Council.
Since 2009, the City has implemented tax relief initiatives (FY 2009, FY 2013 - FY 2022) focused on increasing the homestead exemption for residential property owners as new commercial properties have been developed. Since 2008, the City has moved from a 0% residential homestead exemption to a 20% exemption adopted with the FY 2018 budget. Since FY 2020, the tax rate has been reduced below the No New Revenue Tax Rate, with a $0.037 rate reduction in FY 2020, a $0.005 reduction in FY 2021, and a $0.015 reduction in FY 2022. A proposed $.03 cent reduction is proposed in FY 2023.
Southlake's sales tax rate is 8.25%. The City generates 2% on sales tax, with 1% going to the general fund, 1/8% to Crime Control and Prevention District (CCPD), 1/2% to Southlake Parks Development Corporation (SPDC), and 3/8% going to Community Enhancement & Development Corporation, (CEDC). These sales tax revenues support safety and security initiatives, Southlake's park system, and the construction and operation of The Marq Southlake.
Southlake's FY 2022 adopted property tax rate is $0.3900 (on every $100 of property value), with 0.325 dedicated to Maintenance & Operations or General Fund (M&O) and 0.065 allotted to debt. The proposed property tax rate for FY 2023 is $0.3600, with $0.295 for general operations and $0.065 for debt service. The reduction has been taken from the operations part of the rate.
Presentation & Discussion
When filed with the City Secretary's Office on August 15, the budget presents in summary form the revenues and expenditures from each of the City's funds. It is then discussed during council work sessions and then formally presented by staff during regularly scheduled City Council meetings. When voted on and approved by City Council, the plan is designed to see the City through each fiscal year, October 1 through September 30.