Sugar Land, TX – City Manager Michael W. Goodrum recently submitted a proposed $353 million budget for fiscal year 2024, which begins Oct. 1.
The proposed budget includes $288 million for operations and $65 million for capital projects. The proposal follows guidelines in the City Council-adopted Financial Management Policy Statements and focuses on strategies and priorities identified by residents.
The proposed budget provides for future success, ensures continued financial and operational stability and is structurally balanced and sustainable into the future. It further establishes the city’s leadership in conservative, resilient and responsible stewardship through strategic investment in priority areas. The goal is to balance investment in both operations and capital funding to increase our resiliency in FY24 and into the future.
“Our proposed budget emphasizes our pursuit on becoming trailblazers as we seek to provide city residents and businesses a life better than they can even imagine,” said Goodrum. “There is tremendous alignment between what City Council identified as their highest priorities for the community and what city staff identified as areas crucial for the organization to focus on.”
The proposed budget focuses on the following strategic outcomes identified by City Council:
- Finance: strong and viable
- Community: safe and secure
- Economy: thriving and vibrant
- Culture: dynamic and fun
- People: welcoming and engaged
- Infrastructure: strong and resilient
- Transportation: connected and convenient
- Government: respected and influential
The city continues to be recognized as a leader in financial stewardship, with strategies specifically tailored to the community and designed to maximize both the conservative nature of the city’s finances and to offset the residential tax burden. With increasing residential values, the City raised the homestead exemption to 15 percent for 2023, partially offsetting an anticipated tax rate increase of approximately 0.35 cents to 35 cents per $100 taxable value to implement the GO bond projects. Sugar Land has one of the lowest residential tax burdens per capita in comparison to peer cities, in addition to the fact that Sugar Land’s tax rate represents only a small percentage of the total average residential tax burden. The 2023 tax rate will be recommended once the city receives the certified tax roll for 2023 from the appraisal district and completes the required calculations under the tax code.
The focus of the budget is an investment in priorities and services that provide high value to the Sugar Land community today and into the future, including public safety, redevelopment, data-based decision making and a championship workforce.
The proposed capital improvement program totals $291 million for 2024-2028. It includes $65 million in the FY24 budget, including two 2019 GO bond projects: Emergency Operations Center/Public Safety Dispatch, and Public Safety Facilities Rehabilitation. It also includes strategic funding for key projects from the 2019 GO bonds - some due to increases in construction costs, and some to more aggressively fund priorities of the City such as public safety and mobility.
The proposed rates for 2024 will result in an increase to a residential bill of approximately $3 per month for residential customers. The current rate for residential solid waste services is $19.85 per month and will increase 99 cents per month to $20.84 per month beginning in January 2024.
A series of budget workshops, open to the public, will be held in August on Thursday mornings at City Hall. Public hearings will be held in August and September to receive feedback from residents on the proposed budget and tax rate prior to their final approval in September. The City Charter requires the budget adoption by City Council no later than Sept. 25. For more information, visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/budget.