Mansfield’s tax base grew by 5.1 percent to $4.53 billion dollars this year as the city’s economy continued its rebound from the recession, according to preliminary data from the Tarrant Appraisal District.The city’s net taxable value increased by $220.4 million, of which more than half -- $132.7 million – resulted from new construction, said Peter Phillis, the city finance director. Commercial development accounted for $88 million of the new construction, and the rest came from residential development.“It’s a significant increase from what we were anticipating,” Phillis said.He projects the increase will be trimmed to about 4.5 percent after property valuation challenges are resolved and the updated tax rolls that local governments rely on to build their budgets are released in late July. But even that would produce a net gain of about $1.3 million in real budget dollars for next year. The current year’s general fund budget is $38.4 million.“It’s too early to count our blessings now,” City Manager Clayton Chandler said, but added that the 2013-14 budget will have to address worn-out streets, frozen staff positions and public safety equipment in need of replacement. “There’s no problem finding something to do with” the extra revenue.Tarrant County overall posted a 4.3 percent, or about $5.4 billion, in property value gains.Although Mansfield officials were pleased with the growth, the city -- historically among the fastest growing before the recession hit in 2008 – ranked 10th in value increases among Tarrant County cities, according to the appraisals.White Settlement topped the list at 23.7 percent, followed by Westworth Village with 14.2 percent, Euless with 6.4 percent and Hurst with 6.3 percent. Arlington’s values grew by 5.3 percent, to $18.6 billion, and Fort Worth’s by 4.4 percent, to $44 billion.The Mansfield school district saw its tax base grow to $9.32 billion, an increase of $332.23 million, or 3.7 percent. Finance officials said they wanted more time to evaluate the tax-base data before commenting.But tax-base bumps cause more celebration at City Hall than at the school district, since new property tax revenues for schools are mostly accompanied by offsetting reductions in state funding.
Robert Cadwallader, 817-390-7641 Twitter: @Kaddmann