Victoria officials begin workshops on $46.4 million budget

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

June 23, 2013 at 1:23 a.m.
Updated June 24, 2013 at 1:24 a.m.

Victoria City Council will begin planning how to spend a projected $46.4 million general budget, whether to cut the tax rate and where they might trim programs.

The discussions start 5 p.m. Monday at the City Council chambers, 107 W. Juan Linn St. and continue 5 p.m. Tuesday at the same location.

The budget was put together with a 60.5-cent tax rate, lower than the current 60.56-cent rate.

However, if the City Council votes to further lower the tax rate or property owners are successful in contesting their appraisal valuations, the final dollar amount could change.

"It's a balanced budget," said City Manager Charmelle Garrett. "Reoccurring expenses are paid by reoccurring revenues. We do not use debt to pay for our ongoing operational expenses."

If the City Council votes to lower the tax rate, the transit system could see cuts, as well as the street striping program, right of way trash pick up and fence line maintenance programs. Four vehicle purchases could also be put on the back burner, creating total savings of more than half a million dollars.

If the council votes to reduce the tax rate to the effective rate, 57.57 cents per $100 valuation, it would also need to reduce the proposed bond issue from $8 million to $4.5 million, which would cut into residential street projects.

If nothing changes, the city would consider taking on $8 million in debt to build the Ball Airport Road extension and complete $5.1 million in residential street projects.

The biggest expenses are for police, fire and the street departments, which account for $32.2 million, or 66 percent, of the budget's expenses.

With building improvement projects and a new fire station, the city is looking at spending $3.8 million in "one-time expenses."

On Monday, the council will discuss the water/wastewater fund and Tuesday, the environmental services fund.



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