Missouri City City Council unanimously approved its fiscal year 2021-22 budget and tax rate in a series of votes during its Sept. 20 meeting.
Missouri City residents will pay $0.578035 per $100 valuation in property taxes to the city. Composed of a maintenance and operations rate of $0.443225, and an interest and sinking rate of $0.134810, the total rate represents a 3.34%, or $0.02, decrease from the fiscal year 2020-21 rate, according to city documents.
However, because of rising property values and the addition of new properties, Missouri City will generate $47.3 million in property tax revenue, an increase from the revenue raised from last year’s rate, Financial Services Director Allena Portis said.
Council Member Vashaundra Edwards said she believes the city could have lowered the tax rate by more than $0.02.
“I don’t want to seem as though I’m not in favor of providing any relief to the residents, I just feel like as a city we could have done more,” Edwards said.
The adopted tax rate supports the FY 2021-22 budget, which begins Oct. 1 and runs through Sept. 30, 2022.
For FY 2021-22, the city’s revenue and transfers-in total $153.9 million, while expenditures and transfers-out total $157.5 million. This is a 5.2% decrease in revenue and a 20.2% decrease in expenditures from FY 2020-21.
“Our expenditures exceed our revenue, but that’s intentional as far as using fund balance in the general fund for one-time items,” Portis said.
Revenue and transfers-in for the city’s general fund—the fund that supports many of the city’s operating expenses—is projected at $61.3 million, a 4.5% decrease from last year’s budget. The city is projecting $68.1 million in expenditures and transfers-out from the general fund, a 3.1% decrease.
Portis attributed a portion of the decreases to no longer having revenues and expenses related to the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
The general fund’s expenses this year include $52.2 million in the base budget, $10.2 million in supplemental expenditures and $5.7 million of transfers-out.
Missouri City’s budget supports a net increase of 17 full-time employees, bringing the total number of full-time city employees to 398. Fourteen of these positions are in the fire department due to the addition of fire station No. 6, which is under construction.
Of the $10.2 million of supplemental budget requests included in the general fund, there is $1.1 million for staffing and operational costs for Fire Station No. 6, $1.1 million for a 2.5% salary increase for non-civil service staff and expenses related to implementing civil service, an additional $1 million for the city’s Pavement Management and Maintenance Program, and $3.1 million for a park maintenance facility.
The city projects an ending general fund balance of $18.3 million, or 34.9% of recurring expenditures. City policy requires there to be between 20%-30% of operating expenditures in the fund balance.
In addition to the general fund, the approved budget includes special revenue funds, the capital projects fund, the debt service fund, utilities funds, the equipment replacement fund and the other enterprise fund.
“Allena and team, thank you for this journey. ... It’s a long journey to get to this point,” Council Member Anthony Maroulis said.