FERRIS – The City of Ferris staff met with city leaders earlier this week to discuss lowering the tax burden for residents in the city.
According to Ferris City Manager Brooks Williams by applying $642,000 from the negotiated operational savings towards the city’s fiscal year 2024 debt payment, the city will be able to lower the I&S (Interest & Sinking) tax burden by almost $0.24 per $100.00 value. Combined with the mandated Senate Bill 2 lowering on the M&O (Maintenance & Operations) side, the city can lower the overall tax rate for fiscal year 2024 by approximately $0.25 or 33% from the current rate.
“This will result in a $500 per year savings to the individual taxpayer on a $200,000 home,” Williams said. “We understand that rising property values, along with increased costs for providing services, has created an environment for taxpayers where relief is needed when possible.”
Williams said city staff does not believe the Certified Values from the Appraisal District will be less than the Preliminary Values of $349,300,000. If the Certified Values are higher than the Preliminary Values, the reduction in the tax rate, and subsequent savings, will be more for taxpayers.
The City of Ferris continues to experience growth from new construction now at approximately $50,000,000 in value, which has been added to fiscal year 2023.
“This growth continues to strengthen the city’s prominence as a key business and economic hub,” Williams said. “Ferris’ location in the region provides strategic advantages that combine with impressive infrastructure assets including access to airports, interstate highways, and rail all within an amazingly diverse and resilient economy.
Ferris is currently experiencing the largest economic boom in its 140-year history since being incorporated in 1882, and city staff and elected officials are committed to leading a culture of operational efficiency. With the slowing home sales market, it is a challenge for cities to continue to generate the revenue growth as they have in past years. This trend is expected to continue into 2024 and 2025 and will create challenges for local governments, which continue to see increased demands by taxpayers for more and highly quality services, but wish to maintain lower tax rates. “Low taxes, low density/growth, and high-quality services just don’t all intersect. The slowing growth and housing market will create a challenge, but that is our job as public administrators – to meet the challenge head on and make some tough choices,” Williams said.
Williams believes that having the ability to provide these efficiencies is key to achieving the lowest tax rates in Ellis County, which he concludes “will have a strong impact in the community for fiscal year 2024.”