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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

How You Can Be Involved in the City of Denton’s Budget Process

To help residents understand how our budget is put together, the City of Denton Finance Department is launching a new pilot program for the 2021-22 Fiscal Year Budget called Balancing Act. This interactive online tool will give you a glimpse at how our budget balances out and will allow you to put together a budget of your own and send it to City staff.

City budgets are really about people and our shared priorities. The City’s budget is made up of many different funds. Balancing Act will focus on the City’s General Fund—our principal operating fund with the fewest restrictions on how the funds can be spent. It covers things like patrol officers and firefighters, park maintenance, and attracting new industry. Most other funds in the city are restricted, which means they can only be used for a specific service—no mixing and mingling to pay for something else.

Some parts of the General Fund are already allocated and accounted for, which can be seen in the Balancing Act tool. This includes regular annual allocations for departmental budgets. However, there are supplemental projects that can be funded out of the General Fund. This is where you can provide input!

In Balancing Act, you can review extra services, staff positions, and projects that are under consideration for the FY 21-22 Budget. These projects and services include:

  • An additional Animal Control Officer position for the Animal Services Department;

  • A new Neighborhood Services Coordinator and a new Housing Services Coordinator for the Community Services Department;

  • A Hose Replacement Program and an Emergency Management Program Manager for the Denton Fire Department;

  • New positions for the Denton Public Library, including a Teen Librarian, part-time Tech Services Library Administrative Assistant, and a part-time Library Assistant for Emily Fowler Central Library;

  • Additional Maintenance for the Parks department, including parks, trails, and open spaces maintenance; median and rights-of-way maintenance; and funding for four additional maintenance staff positions and two Recreation Coordinators;

  • Five additional civilian positions and one sworn officer and vehicle for the Denton Police Department;

  • And, lastly, a citizen survey administered by an outside vendor to gauge resident satisfaction with the City of Denton and the overall Denton community.

When reviewing the supplemental items that can be funded out of the General Fund, you can pick which projects you’d like to fund by using Balancing Act. Currently, there isn’t enough money in the General Fund to pay for all the supplemental items listed. However, you have the option to increase your spending limit in Balancing Act by increasing property taxes by ½ cent or 1 cent, which increases your draft budget by an extra $600,000 or $1.2 million to be spent. A large part of the General Fund is made up of taxes and fees. However, for each dollar residents pay in property taxes, the City only receives 26% of that.

More information about supplemental budget items can be found by clicking the “i” icon listed next to each supplemental item in Balancing Act. Once you build your budget, you can choose to share it with the City’s Finance Department by clicking submit. Our staff will review what has been sent in and use it to prioritize which supplemental budget items are approved for the FY 2021-22 Budget. If you have more feedback that you would like to provide to the City, there is also a Budget Feedback Form available on the City’s website here. For a general overview of the City’s budget, we also encourage you to view our Budget 101 video below.

To start building your budget, click here to access the Balancing Act pilot program.

Source: City of Denton

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