City of Tyler submits proposed budget
TYLER, Texas (KETK) — The city of Tyler is proposing a $228.1 million budget for 2023 and presented its plans at a council meeting on Wednesday.
The budget theme is “Tyler Transformed.” There will be a public hearing on the proposed budget and tax rate at Tyler City Hall on August 24 at 9 a.m. and another on September 14 at 9 a.m.
Here are some bullet points from the budget proposed by the city:
- A new lower tax rate of $0.261850 (current rate is $0.2699)
- Tyler’s tax rate is the lowest in Smith County, the city announced.
- A regulatory compliance fee increase of $5.08, which they say is necessary to pay off debt related to the rehabilitation of Tyler’s sanitary sewer system.
- Increased stormwater collection fees from 6% to 7%
- This is to help maintain stormwater drainage facilities, as increased development in the city means less and less rainwater uptake.
- A $1.28 increase in the household waste collection fee
- Fees cover twice-weekly trash pickup, on-demand code enforcement, and community beautification programs.
- Capital Replacement Program for Tasers, Fleet Cameras, Body Cameras and Police License Plate Readers
- Two new firefighter recruits, funding two new fire trucks and upgrading fire facilities
- 5% wage increase for police and firefighters
- Non-civil service city employees can get up to 5% merit increase based on their individual performance
The bulk of general fund spending is for funding police and firefighters, who will receive $34 million and $23 million, respectively.
“We have the best team of civil servants in the state,” City Manager Edward Broussard said. “We need to be mindful of market rates and the effect of 9% inflation to retain quality employees.”
The city has also committed $200,000 to begin removing substandard structures and an additional $100,000 for the removal of trees related to recent storms.
Additionally, the city has earmarked $16.1 million of half-cent fund revenue for upcoming street reconstruction projects and phase three of the traffic sign modernization project. The half-cent sales tax will help projects in several sectors, including:
- Tourism/trails – $3.7 million
- Airport – $859,000
- Streets/Traffic – $16.1 million
- Sanitation – $5.8 million
Two cents of the sales tax rate, $1.8 million, will be used to seal 25 miles of city streets, including removing, chipping, chiselling and leveling Tyler’s brick streets. Sales tax is the city’s largest source of revenue and is used to fund police, fire, street, traffic, and other general fund services.
In addition to this, there are six stormwater maintenance projects totaling $926,000, funded in cash. The projects include the following works:
- Willow Creek at N. Parkdale Drive
- Indian Creek to Loop 323
- Willow Creek to Loop 323
- Storm Sewer Improvements on Bois D’Arc
- Park Heights Circle Storm Sewer Improvements
- Entrance boxes on S. Glenwood Avenue and Grove Street
Assessed values at Tyler for fiscal 2023 will yield about $26.8 million in property taxes, an increase of $2 million from last year to be allocated to expanding public safety services.
“As Tyler grows, public safety must grow,” Mayor Don Warren said.
The WT Brookshire Convention Center is expected to be completed by December 2022. The proposed budget includes funding to make updates to the Tyler Rose Garden Center, including elevator upgrades for ADA accessibility and renovations to the center’s kitchens.
The budget also includes renovations for several parks, including renovations to Lindsey Park softball fields, the redevelopment of Pollard Park, improvements to Winters Park and more.
Warren said this budget “continues our tradition of responsible government spending while taking into account the needs of our residents: smooth roads, improved traffic flow, expanded drainage systems, improved water and sewer systems, and facilities at cutting-edge technology.It also reflects our commitment to growth and change in the way we do business.