Galveston, TX – August 18, 2020 – The Galveston City Council last week unanimously approved a proposed tax rate for 2021 for publication and hearing purposes, and set a public hearing for September 10 for the proposed FY 2021 budget.
The budget represents the city’s priorities, including investments in water and street infrastructure, public safety, and improved drainage. The budget maintains 90 days of emergency funds within the reserves to cover all operating expenses.
City Council proposed a tax rate of .56 cents per $100 valuation, compared to the current .579885 rate. If adopted, the rate means a person with a house valued at $200,000 would pay approximately $93 per month in city property taxes.
The primary changes to this year’s budget are the result of salary increases for public safety personnel as agreed upon during last year’s collective bargaining agreements. Public safety personnel represents more than a third of the city’s workforce. The city’s overall workforce is six positions fewer than the previous year. All city workers will receive a cost-of-living salary adjustment. Like other areas of the economy, the City of Galveston has been affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, the city’s sales tax revenues have taken a hit, with sales tax revenues for the year at $15.5 million. This is a more than $2 million reduction from the previous year.
The City’s FY 2021-2025 Proposed Capital Improvement Plan provides for $85.1 million in water improvements, $35.7 million in street improvements, $58.2 million for sewer improvements and $69.5 million in drainage improvements. Of particular note, this includes having all projects funded by the May 2017 bond election under contract or completed within five years of the election, as promised. Also, this includes a pilot pump station along Harborside Drive to alleviate flooding.
The Galveston City Council will continue to discuss the proposed budget in August and September. The next meeting is on Thursday, August 27th. The budget and the five-year Capital Improvement Plan, as well as other relevant financial documents, are available online at galvestontx.gov/financialtransparency.
FY 2021 PROPOSED BUDGET AND CIP
SCHEDULE OF KEY DATES
There are multiple time constraints in finalizing the schedule for public hearings and approval of tax rates and the Budget and CIP. Suffice it to say that either schedule will satisfy those constraints and provide sufficient time for waiting and publication periods to occur
- Proposed Budget and CIP presented July 17th and discussed in July 23rd Council (Workshop)
- August 13th Council workshop and regular agenda items:
Discuss Proposed Budget and CIP (Workshop item)
Approve a Proposed Property Tax Rate for publication and hearings purposes and set a public hearing for September 10th on the Proposed Property Tax Rate. (Regular Agenda)
Set a public hearing on the Budget on September 10th. (Regular Agenda)