The Denison City Council discussed taxes at its preliminary budget workshop held last month. During the meeting Director of Finance and Administrative Services Renee Waggoner presented the city’s projected revenues and talked about which projects the city staff wants to have funded.


The city is looking at a proposed revenue of $27,351,925 for the 2019-2020 fiscal year budget, Waggoner said. Expenses were budgeted at $27,348,638, leaving $3,287 more in revenue than expenses for the budget.


The city’s debt obligations from the maintenance and operation fund is about $3.1 million dollars, Waggoner said. She said the debt obligations increase next year as some new expenses go into effect. She mentioned the automated trash collection trucks as a big cause of that.


Under the utility fund projections, the city expects to have revenue totalling $12,860,376 and has expenses projected at $12,775,551. That leaves the city with $84,825 more revenue than projected expenses. Waggoner said the city is projecting $418,383 in property tax revenue growth for the fiscal year. The city is projecting $1,455,311 towards the interest and sinking with $7,801,011 allocated towards maintenance and operation portion of the budget.


The Texas legislature was expected to pass legislation that could alter the numbers, Waggoner said. She based the numbers on a project four percent growth in sales tax.


The sales tax growth, she said, will take place over the next five years.


Waggoner also said the numbers were all projections and repeatedly mentioned the numbers were likely to change by June when the city council meets for its next budget workshop. The numbers depend on what the state legislature does in regards to property taxes.


Denison City Manager Jud Rex said the legislature is debating setting a tax cap that would affect the city’s ability to issue new debt. He said the current budget assumptions are based on the current rates.


“People always ask me what is our debt capacity,” Rex said. “I tell them it is whatever you want our tax rate to be. If you keep the property tax rate at least where it is now — to keep things constant — we assume any debt that rolls off we replace it with new debt.”


He also reiterated the city was relying on proposed changes as the state legislature and all numbers were preliminary. The city was planning on holding it’s next budget hearing sometime this summer.


Richard A. Todd is the Denison area reporter. He can be reached at rtodd@heralddemocrat.com.