Sugar Land files $ 298 million budget proposal for fiscal year 22
The proposed budget includes $ 238.9 million for operations and $ 59.1 million for capital projects. It follows the guidelines of the financial management policy statements adopted by the city council, builds on the success of the strategies implemented during fiscal year 2021 to withstand the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and maintains flexibility to respond to both opportunities and disruptions in an effort to recover from the pandemic and economic recession.
âThis year’s budget emphasizes continued leadership in conservative, resilient and responsible stewardship,â said Goodrum. “We want to balance the lingering uncertainty about the economy with cautious optimism about the recovery.”
The proposed budget ensures continued financial strength and resilience by meeting all fund balance requirements, including the structural balance of the General Fund, and includes the first steps to begin restoring Sugar Land Way investments made within budgets. that have been delayed or reduced due to the pandemic. These efforts represent a conservative approach – with the total operating budget increasing by a smaller percentage than the most recent CPI figures compared to the FY2020 budget, which was prepared before the pandemic.
Resilience initiatives have strengthened the city’s financial position and better positioned Sugar Land for an uncertain future. Strong leadership and strategic financial planning have mitigated the impact of economic fluctuations associated with sales tax – an important source of revenue for the city, but one that is very volatile and difficult to predict.
This approach has allowed the city to continue providing priority services while maintaining one of the lowest tax rates in the state for cities of similar size.
“We have one of the lowest per capita residential tax burdens compared to comparable cities, in addition to the fact that Sugar Land’s tax rate is only a small percentage of the total average residential tax burden,” said Deputy City Manager Jennifer May.
âWe are proud that residents tell us that they receive a high level of value for their taxes and are very proud of their trust. As the recovery continues, we will continue our prudent financial planning and investments in the services we provide to residents and businesses on a daily basis. “
The proposed budget for fiscal year 2022 focuses on the highest priorities identified by residents in the 2020 Citizen Survey – including sidewalk rehabilitation, drainage projects, public safety initiatives and mobility.
Building on the revised 2019 General Obligation Election Implementation Plan that was established last year due to the continuing impacts of the pandemic, the proposed budget and capital improvement program include a approximately one cent increase in the property tax rate for projects approved by voters.
This increase – a cumulative reduction from the three-cent tax rate increase previously scheduled for the first year – will fund the second year of the updated bond election project delivery plan for 2019, in focusing on drainage and public safety. The rest of the projects and increases are expected to take place in the coming years, with project implementation now spreading over five years instead of three.
The proposed budget also includes recommendations from the recently completed utility tariff study, with the second phase of utility tariff increases required to implement citizens’ proposals for the Integrated Water Resources Plan. The proposed rates for 2022 will result in an increase in a residential bill of approximately $ 10 per month for use of 10,000 gallons. Additionally, the current rate for residential solid waste services is $ 19.76 per household per month and will increase by 1.25% based on CPI increases under the contract to $ 20 per month.
Overall, strategies for fiscal 2022 and the future include:
-the first steps in re-establishing funding levels for departmental services to enable service delivery to the public – with restoration primarily focused on infrastructure rehabilitation and investment in city replacement funds.
-community priorities such as additional sidewalk repairs, mobility and road safety, and special events;
-public safety training, equipment, installations and operations; and
– efforts to further transform the disruptions of the past two years into opportunities to be âbetter than beforeâ and to increase innovation.
A series of budget workshops, open to the public, will be held in August. A public hearing will be held on September 7 to receive residents’ comments on the proposed budget, as well as a public hearing on the proposed tax rate to be held on September 14 before the adoption of the budget and tax rate. September 21. .
The city charter requires the adoption of the budget by the city council no later than September 25.
For more information, visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/budget.