Sugar Land, TX – Sugar Land City Council adopted a budget of $299 million for fiscal year 2022 and a tax rate of 34.65 cents to fund the annual budget and second phase of capital projects approved by voters in 2019.
The budget was approved after a series of multiple budget workshops and public hearings where residents could provide feedback to the City Council. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
The final budget includes $239.9 million for operations and $59.1 million for capital projects. It follows guidelines in the City Council-adopted Financial Management Policy Statements, builds on the success of strategies implemented in fiscal year 2021 to withstand the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and maintains flexibility to continue to recover from the pandemic and economic recession.
“We are proud of our commitment to finding innovative ways to deliver services and value meeting residents’ expectations,” said City Manager Michael W. Goodrum. “The city is building on a strong tradition of conservative, resilient and responsible financial stewardship as we look to increase innovation and turn the disruptions over the past two years into opportunities to be ‘better than before.’ Residents tell us they receive a high level of value for their tax dollars, and we not only take great pride in their confidence – but we are continually striving to ensure we maintain this trust as we invest in the services our championship workforce provides to residents and businesses on a daily basis.”
The adopted budget maintains one of the state’s lowest property tax rates for similarly sized cities, ensures continued financial strength and resiliency by meeting all fund balance requirements, including the structural balance of the General Fund, and includes the first steps in beginning to restore the Sugar Land Way investments made in prior years that were delayed or reduced due to the pandemic. Additionally, the budget further implements strategic financial planning to lessen the impact of economic swings associated with sales tax - a major revenue stream for the city, but one that is highly volatile and difficult to forecast.
The focus of the FY22 budget is on balancing financial and operational stability –providing additional funding for the City’s highest priorities while also protecting against continued economic uncertainty. These efforts are focused on priorities such as:
- the highest priorities identified by residents in the 2020 citizen survey – such as sidewalk rehabilitation, drainage projects and public safety initiatives;
- the second phase of meeting the City’s commitment to voters to fulfill the 2019 bond election projects – with an emphasis on drainage and public safety; and
- further security of the long-term future of the City’s utility system through the continued implementation of the citizen-led Integrated Water Resources Plan (IWRP).
Building on the revised implementation plan for the 2019 voter-approved projects that was established last year due to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, the adopted budget and capital improvement program include a one-cent increase to the property tax rate for the second phase of the updated project delivery plan. This increase represents a cumulative reduction to-date from the previously planned year-one tax rate increase of three cents. The remainder of the projects and increases are planned to occur in future years, with implementation of the projects now spread over five years instead of three.
The adopted budget also includes recommendations from the recently completed Utility Rate Study with the second phase of utility rate increases needed to implement the IWRP. The approved rates for 2022 will result in an increase to a residential bill of approximately $10 per month for 10,000-gallons usage. Additionally, the current rate for residential solid waste services of $19.76 per household per month will increase 1.25 percent based on a negotiated CPI increase under the contract to $20.00 per month. Rate increases are effective January 1, 2022.
For more information, visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/budget.