Town to hold the line on tax rate

By Aubrey Turner
For the Prosper Press
The Town Council discussed the tax rate for the coming year at the July 27 meeting at Town Hall.

One of the main topics of discussion for the Town Council meeting Tuesday, July 27th meeting was the 2021-2022 budget, including the tax rate and the use of the 2020 bonds that were approved in November 2020. 

The bonds were approved by voters, and include $30 million for public safety projects, $30 million for parks and recreation improvements, and $150 million for infrastructure. 

This final bond provides money for the streets and transportation projects within Prosper.   

After discussions of the budget in previous meetings and Prosper staff creating an initial budget, the Town had predicted that a 7.5 cent property tax rate increase would be required to fund the bond package.  However, due to the increase in growth in the Town revenues, staff determined that the council would not need to increase the property tax rate.   

As part of this meeting, Town Manager Harlan Jefferson proposed a preliminary budget that would provide for the needs of the Town without increasing the current tax rate.  According to the Town of ProsperCommunications Manager Todd Rice, “If adopted, this would mark the fifteenth straight year of maintaining the current property tax rate of .52 cents per $100 valuation.  Prosper has continued to thrive over the past year, even amid a pandemic, due to the Town’s record-setting number of single-family home permits, favorable property values, and sales tax revenues,” Rice said.   

The final Proposed Budget will be presented by Town Manager Jefferson on August 10th to the Town Council.  Following this meeting, a Public Hearing to review the budget will be held on August 24th.  Residents are encouraged to participate in the Town Hall meeting either in person or online.  Following the Town Hall meeting, a final budget meeting will be held on August 26th.  During the September 14th Town Council Meeting the Council will review and approve the tax rate and Town Budget.   

The council reviewed each of the major projects included in the Bond package.  Council heard information on the new Central Fire Station as the main use of the public safety bond.  The Parks and Recreations bond money will be used to improve Lakewood Preserve Park and Tanners Mill Park.  Additionally, this money will be used to increase the train system in Prosper and begin the design work for Sexton Park.  Finally, the Town infrastructure bond will fund improvements to Fishtrap Road, First Street, and the Teel Road intersection. 

The Town of Prosper is currently developing a Bond Tracking Dashboard on the Town website.  This allows residents to track the projects within each of the Bond packages.   This dashboard is scheduled to be launched mid-August.  A dashboard which tracks infrastructure is already available on the Town website, and is useful in tracking road construction updates throughout the Town.   

Town Council meetings are open to the public, both virtually and in person.  They are held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 5:45 p.m. at 250 W. First Street in Prosper.   

More information about the proposed budget is available on the Town of Prosper website at prospertx.gov/government/departments/finance/