For a complete look inside the City of Bedford's Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018, download here.
What is the General Fund?
General Fund is the City's primary governmental operating fund. It is used to account for all financial resources that cannot otherwise be accounted for in other funds that have specific purposes. It is considered the City of Bedford's largest fund.
General Fund Budget
General Fund Budget is proposing an increase of $1,124,112 from $32,684,357 in FY2016-17 to $33,808,469 in FY2017-18
More than 75% of the General Fund expenditures are used for Personnel Cost
Why the Increase?
Current General Fund Budget - $32,684,357
Add in the Departmental Needs:
Continue the City's commitment to YEAR two of the Public Safety Step Plan
Compensates critical Bedford Public Safety personnel to be more competitive within the market.
Add a 3.75% compensation increase for all other personnel not included in the Public Safety Step Plan
Purchase a 2nd set of personal protective safety gear for all firefighters
Protects from serious injuries and illnesses due to exposure to cancer-causing agents.
Replace the motorcycles for the Police Officers within the Traffic Unit
Implement a fleet management program (Enterprise Fleet Program)
Designed to replace over 50 vehicles that have already exceeded their useful lifespan. Moving to this program will save the city approximately $500,000 over a 10-year period through increased equity at sale and decreased operating expenses.
Replace a Citywide phone system that is over 10 years old.
No longer supported by Avaya (vendor) and is increasingly difficult to find replacement parts for the current units causing disruption in customer service.
Add contracted IT support to address critical public safety software and equipment
Needs such as computer-aided dispatch of fire and police personnel and police officer computers installed in their cars.
Provide Standby pay for Police Department CRASH and SWAT personnel
Pay for employees required to be prepared for duty while otherwise home and not physically at work.
General Fund Budget with Departmental Needs - $33,808,469
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the current and proposed Budget?
The City of Bedford's current budget is $32,684,357 and the proposed '17-18 Budget is $33,808,469.
What has changed with the City of Bedford’s approach to making budget decisions?
City Council took a beneficial step forward in this planning process by moving beyond single year, 'snapshot' budgeting to making decisions based on how they will impact the financial sustainability of the City in the future. They spent a considerable amount of time discussing various tax and revenue scenarios, their impact on future budgets, and how they would support city operations over the long-term. For the past 15+ years, Bedford has taken a conservative approach to budgeting – while the City continues to be fiscally responsible/conservative there are critical needs that the city must address
What is contributing to the City's current budget situation? What is requiring the City of consider a budget above rollback?
The City's cost to deliver service continues to increase annually while non-property tax revenues and fees remain stagnant.Property taxes comprise a third of the City's General Fund revenue and is the only remaining source available to balance the budget. On the expense side, 79% of the General Fund proposed budget consists of personnel (salaries and benefits); the general fund comprises most of the City's critical service delivery including, police, fire, building safety, code enforcement, and park and recreation programming, and maintenance.
Define Adopted Tax Rate
It is the property tax rate approved by the governing body to fund operations for the upcoming year. The 16-17 Adopted Tax Rate is $0.476509.
Define Effective Rate
It is the tax rate that would generate same amount of property tax revenue as in the previous year with the same properties listed on both tax rolls. A standard rule of thumb suggests an inverse relationship between effective rate and taxable value. For example, if the taxable value INCREASES, the effective rate goes DOWN (and vice versa). The effective rate for 17-18 is $0.428805.
The maximum allowed property tax rate that cannot be overturned by voters. The '17-18 Rollback rate is $0.480920
What tax rate is the City considering for the '17-18 Budget?
Bedford is proposing a tax rate of $0.52
What specific changes helped increase the '17-18 proposed budget from the current fiscal year?
The proposed tax rate, recommended by staff ($0.497), funds services at existing levels and includes a compensation package consisting of year 2 of the public safety step plan and 3.75% increase across the board for all remaining critical city employees. In addition, the Mayor and Council have agreed to address critical City needs that include the following priorities:
2nd set of Personal Protective safety gear for all Firefighters to protect from serious injuries and illness due to exposure to cancer-causing agents
Replacement motorcycles for Police Officers in the Traffic unit
Enterprise Fleet Program - replacing over 50 vehicles that average over 13 years in age with 28 vehicles 15 years or older. Moving to this program will save the city approximately $500,000 over a 10-year period through increased equity at sale and decreased operating expenses
Citywide phone system replacement - current system is over 10 years old. It is no longer supported by Avaya (vendor) and is increasingly difficult to find replacement parts for the current units causing disruption in customer service
Addressing critical public safety software and equipment needs such as computer-aided dispatch of fire and police personnel and police officer computers installed in their cars with the assistance of contracted IT support.
Standby pay for Police Department CRASH and SWAT personnel – pay for employees required to be prepared for duty while otherwise home and not physically at work
A compensation study to ensure that Bedford's pay rates are competitive and fair, to continue supporting employee retention and recruitment
In order to fund these critical City needs, the proposed tax rate has to be $0.52 instead of $0.497
What options does the City have for reducing its current level of spending?
There are few options remaining that would not have a direct impact on the services provided by the city. Reducing expenditures would result in major changes to current levels and types of services provided to all stakeholders of the city.
How will this budget impact my taxes?
For the average residential homeowner, there is a potential 20.49% increase in your tax bill, which equates to an approx. $14.00 increase per month
If I am over 65, how does this impact my taxes?
There is no impact, your taxes will REMAIN THE SAME.
Tax Rate Notice
Calculate Your Tax Bill
Your taxes owed under any of the posted tax rates can be calculated as follows:
Tax Rate x Net Taxable Value ÷ $100 = Tax Bill
Proposed Average Residential Tax Bill: .520000 Tax Rate x $186,173 Taxable Value ÷ $100 = $968.10 Tax Bill
Average Residental Tax Bill (2016): $0.476509 Tax Rate x $168,609 Taxable Value ÷ $100 = $804.44 Tax Bill
This represents an Average Residental Tax Bill increase of $164.66 or 20.49%
Senior Tax Freeze
In 2004, the City of Bedford adopted an ordinance that establishes an ad valorem tax limitation, otherwise known as a Senior Tax Freeze, for homeowners age 65 years or over and their spouses, in accordance with the Texas Constitution and the Texas Tax Code
For property tax accounts that have an 'Over-65' exemption' your Tax Bill is capped at a maximum amount.
This simply means should the City of Bedford adopt a tax rate that exceeds the prior year's tax rate, or if your taxable value exceeds the prior year's value, it will have NO EFFECT on an Over-65 Tax Bill. That particular tax bill will remain unchanged from the year that bill initially qualified for the Senior Tax Freeze.
For example, here's a sample an Over-65 Tax Bill that is capped at $425.00:
YEAR 1 - $0.476509 Tax Rate X $89,190 Taxable Value ÷ $100 = $425.00
YEAR 2 - $0.520000 Tax Rate X $95,000 Taxable Value ÷ $100 = $494.00 $425.00 (capped)
10-Year Tax Rate History
For more information about the proposed Budget, please contact the City Manager's Office at: (817) 952-2173