Local News
City of Bonham proposes lower tax rate
By Allen Rich
Aug 23, 2019
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Bonham, Texas -- At a budget workshop held Tuesday, August 20, City of Bonham staff recommended a reduction in the tax rate and a 3% cost-of-living increase for employees.

The proposed tax rate for FY 2020 is .6550 per $100 of property value, which would be a reduction from the current rate of .6864 per $100 of property value. 

Bonham City Council will consider the proposed tax rate at two public hearings: Monday, August 26, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. and Tuesday, September 3 at 5:30 p.m.

Property tax revenue grew 7% over last year.  The tax base grew 12%, of which approximately 11% was from increased property values and a little over 1% from tax base growth.

The General Fund 2020 budget grew about 5% over last year’s General Fund budget. 

The city’s General Fund is a combination of services that are generally supported through taxation as well as service fees. Issues with potential to impact the General Fund include available housing, streets and other infrastructure, and worn out heavy equipment and rolling stock.

Sales tax is budgeted with a 4.5% growth rate over last year which is consistent with the city's rate of growth over the last three years.

In order for the city to remain competitive, the staff recommends a 3% cost-of-living increase for employees at an approximate cost of $161,000; and an additional personal day given to full-time staff; and changing the retirement ratio to 2-to-1 at an approximate cost of $140,000.

As the City of Bonham transitions into a new fiscal year, the first priority is to update water and wastewater infrastructure in the initial phase of capital improvements to prevent new streets being impacted if these improvements were made at a later date.

The City of Bonham is addressing water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades by utilizing $14.6 million in funding from Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and those funds are in place.

An additional water distribution line from the North Texas Municipal Water District water treatment plant at Lake Bonham to the DeRose water tower is being added to build in a safe level of redundancy for a critical resource.

Water towers and pump stations are soon going to need to be painted.

The City of Bonham is currently working an agreed order with TCEQ to bring the Wastewater Treatment Plant into compliance, with TWDB funding of $3.8 million in place. The city has also budgeted to take over operations of the Wastewater Treatment Plant in 2020.

The 2020 budget includes a water and sewer rate increase of approximately 8% to keep pace with wholesale water rates. As wholesale water suppliers make major capital improvements to keep pace with the rapidly growing communities in North Texas, most cities are predicting a 10% increase every year in water prices.

In spite of the steadily rising cost of water, studies by city staff indicate that individual cities could not produce water cheaper than North Texas Municipal Water District.

At Jones Field Municipal Airport, all hangers are rented and are budgeted with a 5% lease increase.

EMS revenues have flattened out over the past several years, however the city will utilize a different billing company effective January 1, 2020 and there are expectations for some revenue growth for next year and for future years.

EMS reserves have been depleted by capital purchases are going to be a significant challenge for EMS going forward.