Residential property owners in Denton take on much of the property tax burden – and Mayor Gerard Hudspeth wants to change that.
“The simplest answer is that you are reducing the need for community business services,” he said. “Most [homeowners] Don’t make up for the cost of services. However, commercial businesses can amortize the cost of the deposit as they don’t need services like garbage, police and fire services as regularly. They don’t use libraries and they don’t need leisure centers. “
Hudspeth said in December that he will spend his first six months in office reviewing the city’s $ 1.3 billion budget and ensuring that “we cut the tax rate again and hopefully cut the service fees. That’s a priority. “
The ad valorem tax rate is currently $ 0.59 per $ 100 property valuation – just like in 2020. That tax rate was $ 0.62 in 2019 and $ 0.63 in 2018. From 2012 to 2017, the rate was $ 0.68.
Property tax revenue makes up 38% of the city’s general fund, followed by a sales tax of 30%. The 2020-21 budget includes more than $ 75 million in property tax revenue. Property tax revenues for 2019-20 were nearly $ 76 million.
“I would say that the mayor’s stated goals are in line with the strategic plan for economic development, which the council is due to officially adopt in February, which will discuss the expansion of the tax base and strategies to fully achieve this goal,” said Jessica Rogers , Director of the city of economic development, said in an email.
Jesse Davis, a member of Denton City Council District 3, agreed.
“It is an accepted strategy for economic development in a city our size,” he said. “Roofs have high service costs for the city. Commercial developments have low service costs. You don’t need a fire department all the time [and] Police service. “
According to budget, service costs are expected to exceed $ 17.1 million this fiscal year.
“I think we are all interested in attracting taxable employers who can offer local graduates higher wages and career paths,” said Paul Meltzer, a member of Place 6. “If this ultimately eases the burden on residential property taxpayers, it would certainly be welcome. The question is how and we will have a solid conversation about economic development. “
In the first quarter of this fiscal year – October through December 2020 – the Economic Development Department listed 23 business prospects.
“In the face of an unprecedented year, Denton’s economic environment is generally positive,” Rogers said via email. “On the commercial side, we’ve seen increased interest in new developments in Denton over the past few months.”
Deputy City Administrator and CFO David Gaines said the city’s total tax rate has allowed councilors to lower the tax rate in recent years.
“The more value you have, the more you can lower the tax rate and generate equivalent income,” said Gaines. “Doing more business will lower the tax rate and help residential property owners.”
Approximately $ 473 million in new taxable value was added to the growth and construction valuation roles.
PAUL BRYANT can be reached at 940-566-6881 and on Twitter at @paulbryant_DRC.