The primary focus of the new budget is to ensure the city's continued financial and operational stability, aiming for long-term sustainability, according to a city news release. The goal is to balance investments in both operations and capital funding to enhance resiliency for FY 2023-24 and beyond, according to the release.
Sugar Land City Manager Michael Goodrum expressed his vision for the city's future.
“Our proposed budget emphasizes our pursuit of becoming trailblazers as we seek to provide city residents and businesses a life better than they can even imagine,” he said.
The proposed budget centers on the following “strategic outcomes” as prioritized and labeled by the Sugar Land City Council, according to the news release:
- Finance: strong and viable
- Community: safe and secure
- Economy: thriving and vibrant
- Culture: dynamic and fun
- People: welcoming and engaged
- Infrastructure: strong and resilient
- Transportation: connected and convenient
- Government: respected and influential
This exemption increase will partially counterbalance the expected tax rate rise of approximately $0.035-$0.35 per $100 valuation, necessary to implement voter-approved bond projects, according to the release.
Additionally, the proposed capital improvement program for 2024-28 amounts to $291 million with $65 million allocated for the FY 2023-24 budget. This includes funding for two 2019 bond projects: the Emergency operations center/public safety dispatch and public safety facilities rehabilitation. Furthermore, strategic funding is provided for other critical projects addressing public safety and mobility priorities, according to the release.
Additionally, the rate for residential solid waste services is $19.85 per month, and it will increase by 99 cents to $20.84 per month starting in January.
To involve the community in the budgetary process, a series of budget workshops open to the public will be conducted throughout August at Sugar Land City Hall. Public hearings are scheduled until the end of September, where residents can provide feedback on the proposed budget and tax rate before their final approval. As per the city charter, the budget adoption must be completed by Sugar Land City Council no later than Sept. 25.