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Kennedale
Monday, June 27, 2022

City proposing a 2.33% property tax increase, two public hearings scheduled ? first one Thursday

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The City of Kennedale will hold two public hearings on a proposal to increase total tax revenues from properties on the tax roll in the preceding year by 2.33 (percentage by which proposed tax rate exceeds effective tax calculate under Chapter 26, Tax Code). The actual tax increase will differ for individual property owner with some seeing a higher increase while others will see a lower increase or none at all based on their current individual property values.?
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The first public hearing will be held 7 p.m. Thursday, September 12, 2013. ?{{more}}The second hearing will be 6 p.m. Thursday, September 18, 2013. Both hearing will be at held in the Council Chambers at Kennedale City Hall, 405 Municipal Drive in Kennedale.?
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Members of the public are encouraged to attend the hearing and express their views.
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In viewing the required postings that cities and school districts put in the print media, it can get confusing. It is like all the ?fine print? that you read on labels or agreements. You think you understand it but ?? You quickly realize that the form that taxing entities all use was the work of a committee that submitted it to a committee that had to get another committee?s approval and that was before the lawyers rewrote it.
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There is one figure that you want to start with in all these postings and that is the ?effective tax rate?. This generally is the tell. The effective tax rate is the one that will generate approximately the same amount of the money (revenue) as the last year?s tax rate.
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Because valuations (property worth) are a moving target from year to year, the effective tax rate is almost always different from the previous year. In the go-go years of the housing bubble, it was not unusual for the effective tax rate to be below the prior year?s tax rate. Houses on paper were worth more than the previous year so a lower tax rate would actually generate the same amount of money. In recent years with values declining or stagnating the effective tax rate has to be higher to collect the same amount of money.
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For a bedroom community like Kennedale, residential taxes are a prime source of revenue but not the only source. Cities rely on a combination of property taxes, sales taxes and state/federal funding. This explains why cities spend time and money on developing a commercial tax base. Irving?s loss was Arlington?s gain thanks to Jerry Jones. A Quik Trip (QT) in a small city like Kennedale is a ?gift that keeps on giving.?
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But each funding source is unpredictable. Property taxes generally have been a guarantee but not in recent years. Sales taxes depend on the economy and while one new business opens another closes. State and federal funding is a lot less predictable in recent years as the government continues to reduce spending.
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To get back to the subject on hand, what the City of Kennedale is proposing is an approximate 2.33 percent increase over the effective tax rate on property.
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In a newsletter to all Kennedale residents, the City stated ?? even with considerable cuts throughout the organization we have come to the conclusion that without additional revenue we will be unable to provide reliable services in 2013-14. In order to provide our residents with adequate services, City Council has proposed an adjustment of 2.5 cents, from $0.7222500 to $0.747500. The city tax rate has not been adjusted since 2003 ? over a decade ? and this is not a decision that we reached without considerable discussion.?
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The newsletter cited efforts by the city to keep cost manageable such as reducing full-time staff over the last decade from 84 to a low of 67 by this spring, a 20% reduction. Other efforts have included streamlining city services by providing online options, cross-training of employees and plans to further streamline operations by partnering with Mansfield for dispatch and jail services (reducing staffing cost by 19%); and, adding online capabilities for metering and utility billing services.
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The calculation to figure the cost of the tax rate to the residential owner was printed in the Fort Worth Star-telegram Friday August 23, 2013. Last year the average taxable value of a residence homestead in the City of Kennedale was $150,945 and based on last?s year tax rate the amount of taxes on the average home was $1,090.58. This year the average value is of a residence homestead in Kennedale is $153,768. With the proposed tax rate for the current year, the amount of taxes on the average home would be $1,149.42.
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In a check random of check of other cities in the metroplex area, Kennedale is not alone in asking for an increase. The proposals range from a low of 0.08 in Arlington to a high of 7.98 in the City of Saginaw. Euless is proposing a 2.38 increase. Mansfield has proposed a 4.39 increase. The City of Hurst has a 4.7 increase on the table while Haltom City is looking at a 5.62 increase.
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To find out more, plan to attend one or both public hearings at Kennedale City Hall this month.

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