The Tarrant Regional Water District Board of Directors approved a $22.4 million General Fund Budget for the 2023 fiscal year that cuts the property tax rate despite higher costs for equipment, construction and contract labor.
Flat for the past three years, the property tax rate is being cut 6.27 percent from 0.0287 to 0.0269 per $100 evaluation. TRWD’s property tax rate remains the lowest among governmental entities in Tarrant County.
The General Fund Budget pays for improvements and maintenance of TRWD’s flood protection system that includes Lake Bridgeport, Eagle Mountain Lake, Marine Creek Reservoir and 27 miles of levees throughout downtown Fort Worth.
The tax rate was adopted at the same meeting where the TRWD Board of Directors approved annual budgets for General, Revenue, and Special Projects/Contingency funds.
TRWD General Manager Dan Buhman said the budgets support the district’s core missions of water supply, flood control and recreation while dealing with increased costs and significant growth in the region.
“We lowered the tax rate to address rising property appraisals while recognizing the reality of rising costs, especially construction costs, and a need to retain and attract staff in this employment market,” Buhman said.
The Directors approved a $158.1 million Revenue Fund Budget that includes a 2.94 percent increase in what it charges customers in an 11-county region in North Texas for raw water.
The money raised by the new water rate – $1.2919 per thousand gallons – will support the Revenue Fund’s operation and maintenance of a delivery system that is seeing higher demands because of population growth.
The Directors also adopted a $2.2 million Special Projects/Contingency Fund Budget, largely supported by oil-and-gas leases. The District’s focus for this fund will be funding on-going recreation events and a new recreation master plan.
The Directors also approved a $16.8 million budget for the Panther Island/Central City flood-control project. Supported by revenues coming from two tax increment financing districts, for the first time the budget anticipates selling some of the $250 million in bonds approved by voters in 2018.
- The property tax rate was reduced from .0287 to .0269 per $100 assessed evaluation but increased property appraisals within the TRWD boundaries mean that the average appraised residence’s homestead value of $238,564 will pay $64.17 in property taxes.
- Environmental Stewardship is one of TRWD’s primary strategic goals, and this year the District is moving in a new direction in its Reverse Litter campaign by partnering with the City of Fort Worth to install a water wheel that will be used to collect trash in the Trinity River. Since the water wheel is privately sponsored, TRWD’s expenses for its pollution campaign will be reduced by $30,500.
- TRWD plans to spend $250,000 on a Recreation Master Plan in FY 2023. It will look to set a direction for recreation for the next five years and direct where funding should be focused.