Fiscal Year 2020 to 2021 Budget & Tax Rate
The Coppell City Council worked diligently to ensure that Coppell maintains its high-quality services while also respecting residents' pocketbooks. City Council voted to approve a fiscal year 2020-2021 budget and tax rate of $0.5800 per $100 valuation. This tax rate is a decrease from the Fiscal Year 2019 to 2020 tax rate, is below the no new revenue rate and will take effect on October 1, 2020.
The budget includes a 13% reduction in expenditures from the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 budget. City of Coppell staff began scrubbing departmental budgets line-by-line in 2019, as a result of legislative action. The Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 2, which adds restrictions to revenue sources, and the Comptroller of Public Accounts proposed Rule 3.334, which significantly negatively impacts the City's sales tax revenue. In order to mitigate the revenue shortfalls that will result from these changes - in addition to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic - staff analyzed departmental budgets in depth to determine how to make the necessary expenditure reductions while maintaining the high level of quality city services Coppell has come to represent.
Other budget highlights include:
- Current vacant City staff positions are frozen and seasonal staff numbers were reduced
- Budget contains no salary increases for City staff
- Select capital projects were postponed, resulting in a 77% decrease in capital expenditures from the current year budget
Important Dates in the Fiscal Year 2020 to 2021 Budget Process
Please note, the budget schedule was extended due to COVID-19 related delays and closures.
- May 26, 2020: Crime Control and Prevention District Fund budget annual meeting and public hearing
- June 8, 2020: Budget Workshop - Water and Sewer Enterprise Fund, Special Revenue Funds, Funding for Local Service Organizations
- July 9, 2020: Budget Workshop - Debt Service and General Fund
- July 10, 2020: Condensed draft budget published (necessary to fulfill legal requirements)
- July 27, 2020: Budget Workshop - proposed budget based on certified estimated property values presented to Council
- August 5, 2020: Preliminary budget and tax rate based on certified estimated property values filed with City Secretary and made available for public review, per City Charter
- August 20, 2020: Budget Workshop - Council discusses proposed Debt Service Fund budget, General Fund budget and proposed tax rate based on certified property values
- September 8, 2020: Public hearings to discuss proposed budget and tax rate
- September 15, 2020: Special Called City Council Meeting to approve or reject proposed budget and tax rate based on certified values
About the Budget
The City of Coppell takes pride in its conservative approach and dedication to fiscal responsibility and transparency. The City continuously receives accolades from outside agencies regarding its financial strategy and prudent budgeting practices, and its history of effective financial planning has allowed the City to respond to the anticipated impacts of COVID-19 with minimal disruption to high-quality services and quality-of-life programs.
Response to COVID-19
The City began planning for the loss of sales tax revenue as a result of Rule 3.334, which has to do with the allocation of sales tax revenue in the State of Texas, when it was proposed by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts in December 2019. While planning for the impact of Rule 3.334 in late 2019, City departments analyzed their budgeted line by line to identify expenditure reductions. The City also immediately instituted a hiring freeze and capital reductions. In total, the City was able to identify approximately $5.6 million in expenditure reductions. Thus, the City had identified and implemented reductions to expenditures prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Further, the City analyzed existing fund balances to determine the best strategy to mitigate the impact of the expected remaining revenue loss. The City identified two fund balances that will be used to cover the revenue reduction that cannot be accounted for through reduced expenditures: funds that City Council had previously set aside in the City's designated fund balance for use should an issue arise, and a designation that Council had previously set up to be used in case of revenue threats. Transfers from the Water/Sewer Fund and allocations from other fund balances are also being used to mitigate revenue reductions.
Accounting for Loss
As a result of early planning, the City of Coppell has been able to account for 99% of the expected $9.2 million revenue loss due to the pandemic through expenditure reductions and fund balance reallocations. The City has been able to maintain continuity of government without drastic changes to necessary staffing levels or further reductions to capital improvement projects.
The City strongly encourages residents to get involved, attend public meetings and provide feedback on the proposed budget.