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Rockwall City Council Adopts Lowest Tax Rate Since 1989

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At their meeting Monday night, September 20, the Rockwall City Council voted to adopt a rate below the no new revenue tax rate (formerly known as the effective rate), which continues an eight-year trend to decrease the tax rate for Rockwall residents. The approved tax rate is the lowest rate in 32 years—and is a full 2.00 cents less than the rate last year. Also at the meeting, the Council adopted the budget for fiscal year 2021-2022.

In a series of work sessions and public hearings, the City Council directed staff to prepare a balanced budget based on the no new revenue tax 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 35.00 cents per $100 of valuation is down from the 37.00 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.

In this budget, there are 11 new positions funded, including seven officers and one civilian position in the Police Department. Additionally, there is some replacement equipment in the budget, as well as a reinstatement of the street maintenance funding, back to its pre-pandemic level, with nearly $2.5 million to be used for repairs to extend the life of the City’s streets.

This year’s budget responds to the improved economy and attempts to restore programs that had to be discontinued or limited last year in very uncertain times. Those events caused City leaders to take a cautious and conservative approach to the budget in fiscal year 2020-2021.

“The City of Rockwall is in the fortunate position to be able to once again adopt a balanced budget, while lowering taxes—and still invest in public safety, critical infrastructure, and the high quality services our residents enjoy, without burdening our taxpayers in doing so,” said Rockwall Mayor, Kevin Fowler. “Despite the challenges the pandemic brought last year, our tax base remains strong.”

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 significant increases in sales tax revenue coupled with the increase in growth-related new value. The City’s new fiscal year begins on October 1, 2021.


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