Fiscal Year 2023: Proposed Budget
Waco City Manager Bradley Ford presented the Waco City Council with the Proposed Budget for the Fiscal Year 2022-2023.
This proposed budget ensures the financial strength of the organization by providing a balanced budget, including the structural balance of the General Fund. This proposed budget is built upon, and aligned with, the Council’s strategic goals:
The City’s financial position is strong as evidenced by our most recent bond ratings by both Moody’s (Aa1/stable) and Standard & Poor’s (AA+/stable) as well as continued growth in our property tax valuation (+10.38% over last year’s certified roll) and very strong sales tax revenue growth.
Priorities & Preparation
Challenges & Approach
Council & city staff worked together to build a budget that (in summary):
- Limits increase to monthly City tax and utility service bills for homeowners and non-residential/non-homeowners.
- Manages demands on our core services of public safety, streets, and utilities.
- Brings more than $50 million for General Fund infrastructure which will be spent on streets, parks, and city facilities.
- Continues valuable investments in our water, wastewater, solid waste, and drainage systems.
- Including a net increase of 79.8946 new full time employees.
- Positions will focus on: public safety, administration, development services, parks & recreation, library, information technology, engineering, water utilities, solid waste, drainage, quality of life and ensuring a high performing government.
Employee Compensation & Benefits
- 6% general salary increase, one of the highest increases in recent years.
- Proposals for a new parental leave program, a new educational reimbursement program, and modifications to the longevity program.
- Continuing with the City's competitive health benefits program available for employees and their dependents. Continued participation in Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS) for full-time employees.
- 15% contribution for FY23 in TMRS to help reduce the overall liability and maintain financial stability.
Tax Rate & User Fees
- Contemplating the second year in a row of a tax rate reduction, at $0.764782, the proposed tax rate is almost 0.25 cent lower than the previous rate.
- Reduction in the tax rate is on top of an increased exemption for Homesteads (going from 10% to 15%), increased exemption for persons over 65 (from $5,000 to $50,000), and the establishment of a new exemption of $50,000 for disabled persons.
Major Fee Changes
- Proposed increases to the plan review fee and inspection fees on public infrastructure installed by developers to better align costs of the services.
- Proposed several changes to the water, wastewater, and solid waste fees. (A comprehensive list of fee changes is provided in the appendices of the budget.)
- FY23 proposed budget totals $694.69 million. ($432.05 million for operations, $262.64 million is for capital projects and debt service.)