Fort Bend County commissioners approved the budget for fiscal year 2023-24, amounting to $767.1 million. This budget showcases a 35% increase compared to the previous fiscal year.

The tax rate is set to increase by 4.89%, resulting in an approximate $19.89 rise in taxes annually for maintenance and operations on a $100,000 home. The budget and tax rate received approval with a 4-1 vote with Commissioner Andy Meyers voting against, according to Commissioners Court documents.

Zooming in

Two significant factors contributed to the budget increase.
  • First, changes in accounting regulations led to the allocation of $57 million for employee benefits and self-funded insurances to align with Governmental Accounting Standards Board regulations.
  • Second, $20 million in FY 2023-24 and $25 million in FY 2024-25 have been allocated to the Other Post-Employment Benefits Trust, sourced from excess maintenance and operation funds. These funds will be transferred to the debt service fund to address the county's OPEB liability, estimated at $480 million, through the issuance of a tax anticipation note within nine months.
These changes amount to $82 million of the $176 million budget increase, leaving a remaining $94 million increase, which is an 18% rise compared to the FY 2022-23 budget.

By the numbers

On the tax front, Fort Bend County is considering a lowered tax rate of $0.4389 per $100 of valuation for FY 2023-24, a decrease of $0.0123 from the previous fiscal year. This new rate is expected to cost a homeowner with a $300,000 property approximately $1,316.70 annually in property taxes, according to Commissioners Court documents.

Zooming out

Despite the lower tax rate, the county anticipates an increase in property tax revenue due to the addition of new properties to the tax roll and higher property values.

Notably, these changes will not impact the county's ability to maintain its planned bond initiatives, including a $712.6 million mobility package as well as a $153 million parks and facilities package scheduled for a November ballot vote.