The City of Sugar Land has a long history of being recognized as a leader in financial stewardship, with strategies uniquely tailored to our community and designed to minimize the residential tax burden. We are proud of our success, which includes the second-lowest property tax rate in the state of Texas among similarly-sized cities and one of the lowest residential tax burdens on a per capita basis.
Fiscal Year 2020 Proposed Budget and Five Year CIP
Budget Presented to City Council
The FY20 proposed annual budget and five year CIP were presented to the City Council on Tuesday, July 16. FY20 proposed funding totals $272.1 million including $40.51 million in capital projects and $231.6 million in operating funds. The five-year CIP totals $263.8 million including $90 million in potential FY21-24 GO bond program.
Budget Filing Presentation and Video
Opportunities for Public Input
City Council will hold Public Hearings to receive feedback on the following topics as shown below. Feedback may also be provided online by submitting an online form.
Strategies for the Future
As the city approaches its 60th anniversary, the strategies that led to success in the past must evolve to ensure Sugar Land continues to be successful in the future – recognizing that the city is aging and changing. Some of the factors driving the need to evolve include slowing development as the city approaches build-out, recent residential value growth outpacing commercial growth, increasing costs to provide services, aging infrastructure and the continued volatility of sales tax revenues.
As our city has matured, we have absorbed all of the constraints we can without increasing funding for or sacrificing our residents' priorities – such as maintaining roads and streets, improving mobility, and keeping Sugar Land safer than ever before. Simply put, priority needs are now exceeding the funding available within the current tax rate. Other challenges include the absorption of budget cuts and constraint in recent years that has left many increasing operational needs and priority capital projects unfunded, taking steps to secure the city’s long-term water supply and offsetting the impacts of unfunded mandates and recently passed legislation.
Our residents continue to tell us through feedback such as our most recent citizen satisfaction survey that investments in mobility, public safety and drainage are important to ensure the continuation of the Sugar Land Way, which is a commitment to bold and thoughtful thinking designed to make life sweeter and more refined for the people and businesses that call Sugar Land home. The proposed budget funds the projects that are most important to our residents - all with minimal annual growth in the average residential tax bill and a lean but championship workforce.
What the Proposed Budget Includes
The proposed budget includes the following priorities, all of which are designed to respond to current challenges, increase the city’s resiliency and ensure continuation of the Sugar Land Way by:
- increasing funding for infrastructure rehabilitation – such as streets, sidewalks, facilities, parks and drainage;
- continuing investment in technology to enhance traffic and mobility responsiveness, such as Integrated Traffic System management and an update to the Comprehensive Mobility Plan;
- supplementing traffic safety resources to replace traffic enforcement cameras;
- identifying alternate revenues, including targeted increases in emergency medical services fees, to offset revenues that were eliminated as a result of the 86th state legislature; and
- investing in a championship workforce, such as a public safety compensation study and a performance-based merit pool of 3 percent, recognizing the city is a personnel-driven public safety and service provider and does not give cost of living increases.
The FY20 CIP priorities include the completion of the remaining 2013 voter-approved parks bond projects through a planned tax rate increase of approximately 1 cent and the strategic use of an increase in the homestead exemption from 10 to 12 percent to offset the residential tax bill impact. Other priority projects include Settlers Park drainage improvements, major street rehabilitation and capital projects funded through utility revenues to implement the Integrated Water Resources Plan and prepare to meet additional mandated surface-water requirements.
The proposed five-year CIP includes a potential general obligation bond program of approximately $90 million in projects to address needs that are not affordable within the current tax rate, including drainage, mobility, and public safety. City Council is in the process of finalizing the projects and amounts for consideration by voters, with projects to be funded in future year CIP programs to begin in FY21-23.
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