Missouri City City Council unanimously approved its fiscal year 2022-23 budget and tax rate through two ordinances during its Sept. 19 meeting.

Missouri City residents will pay $0.57375 per $100 valuation in property taxes to the city. That tax rate is made up of a maintenance and operations rate of $0.431981 and a debt service rate of $0.141769.

The total tax rate was reduced by 0.74% compared to last year from $0.578035 to $0.57375. Though the rate was lowered, rising property values and the addition of new properties mean Missouri City will generate $53.2 million in property tax revenue, an increase from the revenue raised from last year’s rate, Financial Services Director Allena Portis said.

The adopted tax rate supports the FY 2022-23 budget, which will begin Oct. 1 and run through Sept. 30, 2023.

For FY 2022-23, the city’s revenue and transfers in total $193.4 million, while expenditures and transfers out total $199.3 million. This is a 16.6% increase in revenue and a 4.4% decrease in expenditures from FY 2021-22.

“For the general fund, this is intentional,” Portis said during the meeting. “This is us spending some of our fund balance on one-time expenditures. For other funds, it is spending fund balance such as bond proceeds or other fund balance that’s been collected to pay for future projects.”

Revenue and transfers-in for the city’s general fund—the fund supporting the city’s operating expenses—is projected at $63.5 million, a 6.3% increase from last year’s budget. The city is projecting $72.6 million in expenditures and transfers-out from the general fund, a 3.1% increase.

Of the $21.4 million of supplemental budget requests included in the general fund, there is nearly $12 million in one-time and recurring expenditures that were approved, Portis said. Meanwhile, the city projects an ending general fund balance of $27.4 million, or 34.9% of recurring expenditures.

Missouri City’s budget supports a net increase of 27 full-time employees, bringing the total number of full-time city employees to 428. Five of these positions are in the fire department, and four are in the police department, interim City Manager Sedrick Cole said. The budget also includes the addition of six full-time positions in public works and eight positions in the parks and recreation department.

In addition, the budget funds $2 million to address salaries in the upcoming fiscal year in addition to a future salary and compensation study required to properly identify the salary needs across the city, city officials said.

“Public safety touches a key important element in our city, without a doubt,” Mayor Robin Elackatt said during the meeting. “Fire and police are those departments that every citizen has a concern with, but that doesn’t mean that parks and courts and other departments, we’re not listening to you, not hearing you.”

The budget also includes tax exemptions for residents, including an additional $10,000 in tax exemptions to Missouri City residents age 65 years and older, an additional $10,000 for disabled residents and a 2.5% homestead exemption. Those exemptions were originally approved by City Council in June.