BROWNSVILLE, Texas (September 30, 2019) – The Brownsville City Commission has adopted the fiscal year 2020 Budget.
The City of Brownsville's property tax rate remains fixed at $0.700613/$100 valuation for the ninth consecutive year led by revenue increases in both property and sales taxes as part of a growing local economy. The budget will raise more revenue from property taxes than the 2019 fiscal year by an amount of $2,968,921, a 7.10% increase from last year.
The balanced Fiscal Year 2020 budget is $153.7 million and supports capital improvement projects including:
· $7.2M for Drainage Improvements
· $14M for Facilities Improvements
· $3.5M for Emergency Vehicles
· $10.7M for streets
o $6.7M for Street Reconstruction
o $4M for Street Maintenance
· District 1: $1,597,500
· District 2: $1,520,000
· District 3: $1,522,500
· District 4: $1,640,500
Additionally, the City strategically maximized this budget by applying some non-traditional funding sources. For example, the City is planning drainage improvements using a state loan program, building updates using an energy savings program, and replenishing some work trucks with leasing where it makes sense to save on vehicle maintenance.
Brownsville City Manager Noel Bernal explained how the City of Brownsville budget continues to build on conservative financial practices while incorporating the values of the organization, relying on inclusion and embracing innovation, to create a living document to address immediate needs and prepare for future growth.
During the fiscal year 2019, a land-use analysis was conducted as a baseline measure for the development of a long-term plan focused on economic growth. The analysis revealed residential development has been the predominant land use type and represents seventy-two (72) percent of the city’s tax base. A higher residential population generates more demand for municipal services, but not the ad valorem taxes to support them.
This disproportionate ratio challenges the City Staff to do with less until land-use is redefined through growth management to increase the commercial and industrial tax base(s).
The analysis also revealed, based on the city’s growth pattern, a significant amount of non-revenue producing parcels within city limits that create a higher burden on infrastructure maintenance and service provision.
“A shift in the development pattern is needed to provide relief to residents and address infrastructure and service levels over time. The report includes several recommendations to close the City’s resource gap and chart a new course toward a financially sustainable future. As the City builds out, a disciplined and strategic approach to planning and economic development will be required.”
Bernal explained the City is investing in a code re-write process to facilitate planning and development.
“The City of Brownsville is building a fiscally sustainable future through growth management, economic development/redevelopment, and innovative strategies. This budget document is a testament to our hope for the future and our preparation to enable it. We are also investing in our human capital by providing our employees with the tools to get the job done. The City of Brownsville is committed to operating on a lean budget, every dollar is put to work in service to the citizens of Brownsville, preparing the community to launch into the future.”
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