The Dallas County Board of Supervisors met during a special session on Monday night for a public hearing regarding the fiscal year 2018-19 budget. After the presentation of the levy rates and where the money will be spent for the next year, the budget was unanimously approved, with Supervisors Brad Golightly, Mark Hanson and Kim Chapman all voting yes on the budget.
The levy rates, rural and urban, saw a decrease and an increase respectively. The total tax levy for the year is set at $6.65 per $1,000 of assessed value, which is 80 cents lower than the previous year.
The rural tax levy rate saw a significant decrease for the first time since 2008, dropping from $3.42 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, to $2.42 for this next year. Since 2008, the levy rate has been stuck, mostly at $3.95 with a few years, including 2017-18, at $3.94.
County staff cited the addition of the Local Option Sales Tax as the primary reason for the significant decrease.
The urban levy rate, however, actually increased from $3.91 per $1,000 of assessed valuation in FY 18 to $4.23 in FY 19. County staff said that the main reason for the increase was the issuance of bonds to build the $22.9 million Law Enforcement Center.
Estimated revenues for FY 19 were estimated at $41,970,383, down from an estimated $66,483,053 in FY 18. On the flip side of that, expenditures are estimated at $61,297,695, up from $49,221,661. The change is revenue was also related to the sale of bonds for the Law Enforcement Center, receiving the money from the bonds in FY 18, but planning to spend that money on construction in FY 19.
47.7 percent of collected taxes go to schools in Dallas County while 33.8 percent goes to cities, both rates above the state average. Just 12.8 percent goes to the County, with 1.9 percent going to community colleges, 1.4 percent going to hospitals, 0.8 percent going to assessors, 0.3 percent going to townships, 0.2 percent going to Ag extension and one percent allocated to “miscellaneous.”
The amount of money allocated for physical health and social services decreased by nearly $1.6 million in FY 19 due to the closing of the home health care division. Mental health services will see an increase of nearly $400,000.