Budget keeps strategic focus, at same tax rate

The City Council approved on final reading Sept. 24 a fiscal 2016 budget proposal that maintains progress on the City’s strategic priorities while holding the line on the property tax rate.

The $311 million budget includes additional staff for public safety, transportation, planning, general services and parks, with $136 million for major equipment and capital projects – including many approved by voters in a 2013 bond election.

For an overview, we have produced a FY 2016 Proposed Budget FAQ and FY 2016 Budget Brief.

Among the capital projects planned for 2016 are:

The budget proposal is balanced at a tax rate of 41.465 cents per $100 of valuation, the same as last year. For the owner of a $216,594 home (the average value) that means an increase of $75 next year. Home values have increased by an average of 9.1 percent.

The foundation for the budget was laid in February, at the City Council’s annual planning work session. Among the broad strategic goals affirmed at the meeting were:

  • Financially sound city providing high value services
  • City infrastructure for today and tomorrow
  • Sports Capital of Texas for tourism and residents
  • Great community to live
  • Authentic downtown
  • Sustainable neighborhoods

The budget includes water and wastewater rates that will increase 3 percent in January 2016, with no changes to drainage and solid waste pickup rates.

The public hearing and approval schedule for the budget and tax rate were:

  • 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10 — First public hearing on tax; public hearing on budget; first reading of budget and tax rate ordinances
  • Thursday, Sept. 17 — Second public hearing on tax rate (time to be determined)
  • 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24 — Second readings and final adoption of budget and tax rate ordinances


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