Results from a Manvel community feedback survey show residents would like to see greater investments in city parks and open spaces as well as the maintenance of existing public infrastructure, yet they are wary of raising taxes.

The big picture

Between July 1-28, the city of Manvel distributed a survey designed to gather feedback to help inform the city’s fiscal year 2023-24 budget.

The survey, which had over 700 respondents, showed strong support for maintaining existing infrastructure and funding city parks and open spaces:
  • 63% said city parks and open spaces were the most important city facilities.
  • 68% said the maintenance of public infrastructure was most important.
  • 47% said minimizing traffic congestion was most important.
  • 71% said introducing a farmers market was the most important event for them and their family.
  • 76% said safety and security was the most important city issue.
While respondents voiced interest in funding infrastructure, transportation and public maintenance projects, 79% said they would not support City Council approving a tax rate increase to establish these projects.

According to Mayor Dan Davis

“Knowing that there are a lot of things that the community wants to see while at the same time not seeing their taxes go up, it’s an important thing for us to recognize as a city that's very quickly growing,” Mayor Dan Davis said. “One of the things that stood out to me is that while a lot of people are excited and optimistic for what's to come in the future, they recognize that we have a very big responsibility to take care of what's right in front of us. Let's make sure that we're fixing our roads; let's make sure that we're addressing drainage issues; let's make sure that we're taking care of our city employees, and if we focus on what we need to focus on today, then tomorrow will take care of itself.”

At an Aug. 7 City Council meeting, council voted to cap the fiscal year 2023-24 tax rate at $0.560707 per $100 valuation, which means in the final budget, the city can adopt a lower tax rate but not a higher tax rate.

Davis, who voted with one other council member against the cap because he feels it should be even lower, said he will propose a plan at the Aug. 21 City Council meeting that would allow the city to fund projects proposed in the budget while adopting a lower tax rate that would create up to a $20 average decrease in taxes for residents.

Davis said he hopes the city can accomplish this by streamlining the focus of expenditures and partnering with other bodies, such as schools and the county, to share the cost burden.

Stay tuned

The city will host its first-ever budget town hall Aug. 28 and has scheduled public hearings to discuss the budget at its City Council meetings on Sept. 4 and 18. The city could approve the final budget as early as Sept. 18, Davis said.