Long-term approach to finances keeps City affordable yet awesome

Note: Success doesn’t happen by accident. For the City of Round Rock, it’s been a decades-long process of strategic planning and methodical execution. The Future Forward series highlights our efforts to manage Round Rock’s rapid growth. 


Taking the long view on finances helps keep Round Rock one of the best, most affordable places to live in the United States. We ranked No. 4, in fact, in a study done a couple of years of ago that looked at the most affordable places that you’d actually want to live in.

Every year, prior to the Council’s annual budget deliberations, the City Council takes a hard look at our long-term financial planning and five-year outlook. The City CFO reported in June that Round Rock’s financial outlook remains strong and stable.

The City’s recent business recruiting successes, along with sales tax growth and a long-term approach to strategic planning are key to ensuring financial stability.

Our Strategic Plan provides a north star to guide City planning and budgeting. The City Council reviews and updates the Strategic Plan annually, at a retreat in February. Round Rock’s strategic priorities are:

  • Financially Sound City Providing High Value Services
  • City Infrastructure: Today and for Tomorrow
  • Great Community to Live
  • “The Sports Capital of Texas” for Tourism and Residents
  • Authentic Downtown — Exciting Community Destination
  • Sustainable Neighborhoods — Old and New

Knowing where we’re going in the future makes today’s spending decisions that much more effective.

Here are the assumptions going into our five-year forecast:

  • Population growth continues in the 2.5 percent to 2.8 percent range, which means a population of 128,000 by 2023
  • Local development and economic growth continue, estimated at 20-25 percent over five years
  • Stable state and national outlook
  • Current Council goals continue as guiding direction (business friendly, family focused, sports tourism, strong public safety)
  • Kalahari Resorts will open as expected in FY 2021

So what are we doing with that forecast information? One of the most significant is working toward a more balanced mix of General Fund revenue (the General Fund is what pays for basic services like Police, Fire and Parks). Currently, the General Fund is comprised of 45 percent sales tax revenue, 32 percent property tax revenue, 23 percent other taxes and fees. By 2023, we project a balance of sales tax and property tax at 40 percent.

The balance means more stability for the City, since sales tax is a more volatile source of revenue. The forecast assumes modest growth in sales tax revenue over the next five years. The projection still maintains the City’s position as having one of the area’s lowest city property tax rates.

But as we noted up top, Round Rock’s not about being the cheapest. It’s about creating a community where you actually want to live, that’s safe, with great parks, a dynamic library and well-maintained streets. Where we implement the long-term plans for water and transportation that will ensure its livability for generations to come.

It just makes cents.

Mayor Craig Morgan: Survey results provide valuable feedback

Mayor Craig Morgan pens a monthly column for the Round Rock Leader. This is a repost of his  most recent feature . Feedback is an essential tool we use to improve ourselves. Whether it’s through a supervisor at the office, a coach on a sports team or customers of a business, we can grow in all walks of life by […]

Smart Irrigation Month is Here

The HEAT is definitely on!  Welcome Summertime! You may have heard by now, that July has been deemed “Smart Irrigation Month” by the Irrigation Association since 2005, because that’s typically when the hottest temperatures occur (here in Central Texas, our hottest months are August and September). With high and hot temperatures come higher water use, […]

#TXWindmills and #TXWatertowers

  • July 5, 2018

  • By Jessica Woods

  • Posted In: Water Spot

You may be asking what does windmills and water towers have to do with the usual topic of water conservation that we share here?  Well, nothing directly; however for this blog I want to share a fun campaign that the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is running this month.  To put it very simply, the […]

Focused on the road ahead

Note: Success doesn’t happen by accident. For the City of Round Rock, it’s been a decades-long process of strategic planning  and methodical execution. The Future Forward series highlights our efforts to manage Round Rock’s rapid growth.  It should surprise absolutely no one who’s lived here more than 5 minutes the issue most vexing to Round Rock residents […]

City grants request for temporary change in construction work hours

The construction firm for the Kalahari Resort project requested a temporary change in construction work hours. The request is to allow construction to begin one hour earlier, beginning at 6 a.m., from June 25, 2018, through Nov. 4, 2018, seven days a week. City staff has granted this request with the exception of Saturdays and Sundays, which […]

Top 10 (plus three) things to do this summer in Round Rock

Special thanks to Round Rock ISD extern Caitlin Osborne for contributing this blog post! Whether the forecast calls for high temps or rainy days, we have you covered with the top ten (plus three!) things to do this summer in Round Rock. Walk along Brushy Creek’s shaded path in Memorial Park and follow the trail to view our […]

Our water runs deep

Note: Success doesn’t happen by accident. For the City of Round Rock, it’s been a decades-long process of strategic planning  and methodical execution. The Future Forward series highlights our efforts to manage Round Rock’s rapid growth.  “No water, no life. No blue, no green.” – Sylvia Earle, marine biologist  Hard to state it any more simply than […]

Kalahari puts on a Texas-sized groundbreaking

We’ve been to dozens of groundbreakings in Round Rock over the years, but none like the one for Kalahari Resorts last week. The big tents, the amazing food, the large video backdrop on the stage and the laid-back delivery of owner Todd Nelson showcased Kalahari’s one-of-a-kind hospitality expertise. The size, the scale and the nature of business were on display […]

Mayor: City’s history of economic development success continues with Kalahari 

Mayor Craig Morgan pens a monthly column for the Round Rock Leader. This is a repost of his  most recent feature . What does the word “growth” bring to mind for you? If comments on the City of Round Rock’s social media pages and citizen surveys are any indication, your answer is probably traffic.  You would be hard-pressed to find […]