During the Aug. 9 Buda City Council meeting, City Manager Micah Grau and staff presented the planned city budget for fiscal year 2022-23. The budget must be approved on or before Sept. 20.

The proposed budget totals $102.3 million, including $51 million in capital improvement projects. The budget proposes to hold tax rates at the same rate of $0.3423 per $100 valuation. There is also a proposed 15% increase in utility rates for water and wastewater.

City staff also presented to council the proposed general fund budget, which is set at $16,719,483. This would be a $1,547,339 increase from last year’s budget. An increase in funding is attributed to two new police positions, two additional parks maintenance employees and a new development navigator, who will serve as a liaison between commercial and small-business developers and the city’s development services staff to assist in navigating the city’s development process.

According to Buda city staff, the focus areas for the upcoming budget year include improvements to the development process and economic expansion; implementation of the 2021 bond propositions; pursuit of federal and state grants for projects; enhanced park programming; employee retention; downtown parking; and increased broadband communication.

According to Grau, the FY 2022-23 budget is the largest budget ever proposed to the City Council in the history of Buda. Grau outlined some of the budget challenges in the presentation, citing stagnant revenue from little new growth, rising costs due to inflation, rising wages and a competitive job market.

The projected revenue growth budget for the city in FY 2022-23 is at nearly $50.1 million. Grau outlined sales taxes and fees as being the largest sources of revenue for the budget.

“Taxes make up the largest portion of our revenues for the city at $25.8 million, or 52% of the budget. Taxes are property tax, sales tax, those types of numbers,” Grau said. “Fees are things like water and wastewater revenues–those make up 31% of the budget. And miscellaneous revenue could be grant revenue or just a variety of different things.”