Hello, Flower Mound! August and September are always busy months here at the Town, as we discuss and finalize the budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.
The proposed budget – which will be voted on and approved this month – currently totals $184,185,079. The proposed, balanced budget includes a 7.2 percent reduction in the property tax rate to $0.4050 per $100 assessed valuation, from $0.4365. This proposed property tax rate is the lowest in the Town’s history. What could it mean for you as a homeowner? If the proposed tax rate is approved, you could see an average annual savings of $127.
Additionally, Council has already voted to increase the homestead exemption from 2.5 percent to 5 percent in the new fiscal year. A homestead exemption lowers the property value used to calculate property taxes owed. In 2018, Flower Mound passed its first homestead exemption at 2.5 percent. Council’s recent vote doubles that exemption to help provide some additional property tax relief. For example, a Flower Mound resident who owns a home valued at $300,000 will now pay property taxes on only $285,000. As a Council, we hope this increased exemption – along with the proposed reduction in the property tax rate – will help lower annual costs for our residents.
Priorities for the 2021-2022 fiscal year focus on maintaining the Town’s financial position, continuing infrastructure maintenance and capital improvements, providing quality municipal facilities and parks, funding a competitive and equitable compensation plan for employees, and planning for the Town’s long-term future. The proposed budget includes funding for several street capital projects – including, but not limited to, the widening of Aberdeen Drive; intersection improvements at FM 2499 and FM 3040; reconstruction of the foundation and retaining wall at The Mound; the extension of Walsingham Drive to connect Flower Mound Road to Scenic Drive; new signalized intersections and pedestrian facilities at FM 1171 and Canyon Fall Boulevard and at Garden Ridge and Forest Vista; and several road reconstruction projects. The proposed budget also includes funding for the design, construction and equipping of a Joint Fire Training Facility that will be funded by Flower Mound, Lewisville, and Highland Village.
Our parks capital projects include a playground replacement at Peacock Park; drainage, fence improvements, and landscaping at Chinn Chapel Park; the creation of a master plan for the undeveloped Dunham Ranch park property; upgrades to Gerault Park, Glenwick Park, Leonard & Helen Johns Community Park, and Tealwood Oaks parks; resurfacing the playgrounds at Culwell, Prairie Creek, Colony, Shadow Ridge, and Lone Tree parks; and the potential design of a tennis center, based on the results of the current feasibility study. The proposed budget also includes several water, wastewater, and stormwater projects.
I’m proud that the proposed budget includes funding for several new – and needed – positions within the Town, particularly in our emergency services departments. The proposed budget includes two new police officer positions, a new Assistant Chief of Police position, six new firefighters, and one new 911 communications officer. Our Police and Fire departments do so much for our community, and I feel it’s crucial that we add these needed roles so that they can operate efficiently and effectively. Additionally, I’m happy that we’re also including seven very critical Public Works positions. From water repair crew members to a signal technician to a right-of-way inspector, these positions and more within our Public Works Department do the behind-the-scenes work that keeps our Town running.
The budget includes minor increases to the water and stormwater rates. A water and wastewater study is done every three years. Customers will see a 1.7 percent increase on their water and wastewater bill. Stormwater rates, which increase every other year based on the Consumer Price Index, are proposed to increase 3.13 percent.
To learn more about the proposed budget, please visit www.flower-mound.com/budget.
I want to touch briefly on an important upcoming event. As you have likely realized, the 20thanniversary of September 11 is quickly approaching. Please join us in honoring the innocent lives lost, the heroes who selflessly ran toward the danger, and those who came together in the aftermath to rebuild. The Town will host a remembrance ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 11, at 8:30 a.m. at Town Hall. We welcome you to attend for the presentation of colors, short remarks from our Police and Fire departments and myself, the ringing of the bell, and a bagpipe performance. I hope to see you there.
I have so enjoyed getting to know so many of you over the past few months, and I look forward to meeting more of you in the months and years to come. As a big football fan and supporter of our local students, I plan to attend as many home games as I possibly can at both Flower Mound and Marcus High Schools. If you see me out cheering on the Jaguars and the Marauders, please stop by and say hello!