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2019 budget proposed, opportunities for public feedback unveiled

Posted Aug. 15, 2018

The city manager recommended a $1.91 billion budget on Aug. 14 that continues to focus on sustainable solutions while also decreasing the property tax rate.

“For the third consecutive year, the city’s economic outlook is positive, from improvements in local job growth and sales tax collections to increases in residential and commercial values and new building permits,” City Manager David Cooke said. “Along with this growth have come increased demands on city services and infrastructure and, ultimately, the requests for city dollars.”

The recommended budget is an increase of 2.51 percent over the fiscal year 2018 adopted budget. The budget includes 82 net new positions.

The recommended budget includes these achievements:

  • Lowers the property tax rate by two cents.
  • Increases cash funding dedicated to capital projects, including additional funds for street maintenance and repair, and funds to improve neighborhood vitality and safety, and additional funds for park maintenance and improvements.
  • Staffs new facilities approved by voters in the 2014 bond program: the Golden Triangle Library in far north, Fire Station 43 in far west and new parks.
  • Recommends a plan to make the city’s employee pension plan more sustainable. The recommended budget includes adding $10.2 million in the General Fund for the pension. That number represents 3 percent of the general fund payroll.
  • Adjusts the 2019 budget by $5.5 million for police budget fixes.
  • Emphasizes priority initiatives such as improving the Las Vegas Trail neighborhood, a disparity study for the Minority Business Enterprise program, implementing the Economic Development Strategic Plan and increased staffing the for Planning & Development Department.
  • Continues the practice of not using reserves to balance the budget.

Tax rate decrease proposed

Cooke recommended reducing Fort Worth’s property tax rate by 2 cents, from 80.5 cents per $100 valuation to 78.5 cents. The reduction is needed to help Fort Worth compete with other cities to attract new businesses.

The owner of a home valued at $221,800 with a homestead exemption would pay $1,393 in city property taxes.

One cent of the tax rate is worth about $6.2 million to the city’s budget, Cooke said.

Five-year capital plan in the works

Earlier, Cooke presented an outline for a five-year capital planning process aimed at replacing and improving aging infrastructure for one of the fastest-growing large cities in the nation. “It’s important to plan for both growth and the cost of growth,” Cooke said.

Fort Worth adds about 20,000 new residents each year, and population estimates call for Fort Worth to jump from No. 15 to No. 12 among U.S. cities over the coming years.

Cooke’s capital planning goals for the coming fiscal year include:

  • Implement the 2014 and 2018 bond programs that were approved by voters.
  • Increase funding for infrastructure maintenance and investment.
  • Continue improvements through the Neighborhood Improvement Strategy. That program is responsible for improvements to the Stop Six and Ash Crescent neighborhoods over the last two years.

Cooke sketched out a five-year plan that would add $1.74 billion in capital improvements through the fiscal year 2023 budget.

One addition to the capital planning process for the next five years is an effort to begin evaluating infrastructure maintenance and investment based on equity. This effort is in line with upcoming recommendations to be presented this fall by the city’s Race and Culture Task Force.

“We’re starting to use data about equity, and it will influence where and how our capital improvement dollars are spent,” Cooke said.

Give your feedback on the budget

Fort Worth residents have opportunities to comment on the proposed 2019 budget. Budget hearings are scheduled for:

  • Aug. 28, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 11, 7 p.m.

Hearings will be conducted during regular meetings of the City Council at City Hall, 200 Texas St.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on adopting the budget and the tax rate at 7 p.m. Sept. 18 at City Hall.

Residents can also email their feedback.

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Calendar

Fort Worth Housing Finance Corporation: 3 p.m. Sept. 18, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Work Session: 4 p.m. Sept. 18, 2018; Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Sept. 18, 2018; Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Commercial Board of Adjustment Work Session: 8:30 a.m. Sept. 19, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Canceled Disciplinary Appeal Hearing - Kenneth Pierce: 9 a.m. Sept. 19, 2018; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex Multi-Purpose Room, 505 West Felix Street.
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Commercial Board of Adjustment Public Hearing: 9:30 a.m. Sept. 19, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.
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Residential Board of Adjustment Work Session: 1 p.m. Sept. 19, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Residential Board of Adjustment Public Hearing: 2 p.m. Sept. 19, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.
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City of Fort Worth Workshops: RFP, RFQ, ITB, A+B & Best Value Solicitations: 8 a.m. Sept. 20, 2018; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus - Fort Worth Business Assistance Center , 1150 South Freeway .

Canceled Disciplinary Appeal Hearing - Kenneth Pierce: 9 a.m. Sept. 20, 2018; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex Multi-Purpose Room, 505 West Felix Street.

Urban Design Commission Work Session: 9:30 a.m. Sept. 20, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Tarrant County Adult Education & Literacy Consortium Meeting: 9:30 a.m. Sept. 20, 2018; Workforce Development Board Offices, 1320 South University Drive, Suite 600.
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Urban Design Commission Public Hearing: 10:30 a.m. Sept. 20, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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In's and Out's of Doing Business Globally: 11:15 a.m. Sept. 20, 2018; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, 1150 S. Freeway.
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City of Fort Worth “Monthly Informational Forum for M/WBEs”: 11:30 a.m. Sept. 20, 2018; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus - Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.

Community Action Partners Council: 1:30 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; Fort Worth City Credit Union, First Floor Board Room, 2309 Montgomery Street.
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Lake Worth Regional Coordination Committee Meeting: 2 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; Lake Worth Multi-Purpose Center, 7005 Charbonneau Road, Lake Worth, TX 76135.

Aviation Advisory Board: 4:15 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; Fort Worth Meacham International Airport, 201 American Concourse, Suite 306.
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Disciplinary Appeal of Kenneth Pierce: 4:30 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; Law Conference Room 320, Third Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Task Force on Race and Culture: 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; Oak Hall, Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Commissioners Meeting: 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Trinity River Public Facility Corporation: 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Eastwood Public Facility Corporation: 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Ironwood Crossing Public Facility Corporation: 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Matador Ranch Public Facility Corporation: 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Penn Place Public Facility Corporation: 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Sedona Public Facility Corporation: 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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September Master Compost 3-day: Sept. 20, 2018,–Sept. 22, 2018; Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.
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Calmont Elevated Storage Tank Repair & Repainting Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; R.D. Evans Community Center, 3242 Lackland Road.

Crud Cruiser Mobile Waste Collection: 9 a.m. Sept. 22, 2018; MET Church , 11301 Old Denton Rd.

North Beach Street Public Art Kick-off Event: 9 a.m. Sept. 22, 2018; Fort Worth Police Department Sixth Patrol Division, 8755 N. Riverside Drive.

Responsible Pet Ownership Class (Spanish): 9 a.m. Sept. 22, 2018; Chuck Silcox Animal Care & Adoption Center, 4900 Martin Street.

Litter Cleanup at Chisholm Trail: 9 a.m. Sept. 22, 2018; Chisholm Trail Community Center, 4936 McPherson Blvd.

View the full city calendar and current meetings.