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COVID-19 has had far-reaching impacts, and the City of Coppell has felt the pandemic's reverberations in many unexpected ways. Due to unforeseen closures and delays, the City's Fiscal Year 2020-2021 budget calendar has been extended. The proposed budget and tax rate will be presented to City Council for approval at a special called meeting on September 15, 2020.
"Due to coronavirus-related delays, the City of Coppell is not expected to receive certified property values – which are used to calculate the City's proposed tax rate – until August 20, which is about a week after Council was scheduled to approve the budget," said Mike Land, Coppell City Manager. "As a result, we have decided to extend the budget approval timeline to allow staff time to revise the budget as needed after we receive the certified values from the appraisal district."
Per City Charter, the proposed budget is to be filed with the City Secretary on August 5 of each year, and the document then becomes available for public review. As a result of the unexpected delays, the City will publish a preliminary budget and tax rate based on the most current information available, the certified estimated values. This proposed budget and tax rate are not based on final values, and they will be adjusted once certified values are made available to the City.
"The unprecedented events of 2020 have had a domino effect. This year, $2.2 billion in value in the city of Coppell is under protest, which is significantly more than the last year's protested value." said Land. "The appraisal district also altered the assumptions that it uses to calculate how much property tax revenue a city is expected to receive from the protested valuations. Based on these estimates, the total property tax revenue the City expects to receive is lower than anticipated. Remember, municipalities are mandated by the State to publish a balanced budget. Because of all of these various factors, residents should expect to see multiple numbers and rates in the coming days and weeks. Please know that these are not the final numbers."
"We have a lot of information, but we are waiting for more before we make a final decision." added Mayor Karen Hunt.
The City Council will now meet for a budget workshop to discuss the proposed budget and tax rate based on certified property values on Thursday, August 20.
The City Council has also announced that it will postpone the public hearing on the budget and tax rate that was originally scheduled for the first Council meeting in August until the first regularly scheduled meeting in September. The public is encouraged to virtually attend the public hearing on the proposed budget and tax rate based on certified values on Tuesday, September 8. Then, the revised budget will be presented to City Council for approval at the special called meeting on September 15, 2020.
"We expected and planned for COVID-19 to impact our budget, but we did not anticipate the impact that the pandemic would have on the appraisal district. We're thankful for the thoughtful proactive planning that the Council and staff has completed during their budget efforts to date and that's placed our community in a strong position to be flexible and agile as we work with the appraisal district to finalize the certified values," added Land.
For more information on the budget, visit coppelltx.gov/budget.