Missouri City officials consider nearly $140 million budget for fiscal year 2018-19

Missouri City staff proposed to City Council a $139.6 million budget for expenditures for fiscal year 2018-19 during a Sept. 4 budget workshop, recommending a tax rate of $0.63 per $100 valuation for adoption.

For residents with home values of $50,000-$300,000, the new tax rate could mean annual tax increases of $15-$90, according to a budget presentation. The average value of a Missouri City home is estimated to be $231,882.

The proposed budget does not afford any extravagances, Mayor Allen Owen said. The cost of doing business is rising, and the city needs the rate increase to meet the demands of residents.

“[This budget is] basically allowing us to operate at the same level we did last year,” Owen said. “We need that to provide the same level of service that citizens expect us to deliver and nothing less.”

Personnel costs and capital outlay make up more than 56 percent of expenditures, according to city budget documents.

Capital projects slated to move forward in the next year include investments to improve city drainage, infrastructure, parks and public safety, Assistant City Manager Scott Elmer said. Those projects will be funded by user fees, bonds and the city’s debt service funds.

The city’s animal services department is also anticipating additional costs with veterinary services and new personnel, Public Works Director Shashi Kumar said during an Aug. 27 budget workshop.

To remain fiscally responsible, city staff has preemptively cut $2.1 million across various departments, City Manager Anthony Snipes said.

Public hearings to receive comments from residents regarding the proposed tax rate increase is set to take place on Sept. 14 and Sept. 17.
By Renee Yan
Renee Yan graduated May 2017 from the University of Texas in Arlington with a degree in journalism, joining Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in July.