Pearland is Preparing for the Future - FY19 Budget Approved
Staff recommended no increase in water/sewer rates approved by Council
PEARLAND, TEXAS – September 25, 2018 – The City of Pearland City Council approved the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget that adds public safety staffing, and continues investment in parks, roads, and water/sewer utilities. The FY19 Budget contains $329.8 million in annual revenues plus $109.7 million in fund balances for $439.5 million total means of financing against $366.9 million in expenditures over 35 independent governmental funds with a variety of purposes, requirements, restrictions, and funding sources.
Major items in this year’s proposed budget include adding additional staffing in Police, Fire, Public Works, Utility Billing and Parks, as well as providing funding through local property and sales tax revenue for major public investment projects like the Lower Kirby Infrastructure improvements, the expansion of Hughes Ranch Road, new Fire Station #1, renovation of the Train Depot, and park improvement projects across the City.
The City’s General Fund, which provides the bulk of public service operations including Fire, Police, Parks, Public Works and administrative support functions, is set for $80.8 million in revenue and $80.4 million in expenditures. The City’s amended budget for FY18 was $81.3 million which included $650 thousand in continuing Hurricane Harvey response measures and future emergency preparedness. For emergencies, the City of Pearland services are the first ones on most any scene at all times as well at the ready for disasters. The majority of the City’s General Fund, 56%, is for public safety functions. The property tax rate is now set at the effective rate, no new revenue according to State of Texas calculations, of $0.7092, up from $0.6851 the prior year. The effective tax rate is defined as the tax rate necessary to bring in no increased revenue to the City from existing properties, the same amount of revenue as the previous year excluding new construction. Data from county appraisal districts show that overall value growth is moderating from strong growth levels seen over the last couple of years, but overall remain climbing up, 3.5%. Here is a sample of a property tax bill based on the FY19 budget:
The portion of a typical residential property tax bill that goes to the City for its public services is between 20% to 30%.
Pearland continues to retain and attract new residents and business investment and the City will continue to invest in the public service network to meet those needs. The City’s Community Development Department is on track to issue nearly 900 new single-family detached residential construction permits for FY18. Retail developments provide substantial sales tax revenue to support City services and that growth continues with new and existing businesses being successful, sales and use tax revenue is budgeted at $22.9 million for upcoming FY19, up from the FY18 projection of $22.0 million.
The City’s self-supporting water/sewer enterprise fund is recommended to have zero rate increase for upcoming Fiscal Year starting October 1, 2018 while meeting all minimum fund balance requirements. Quality water and sewer for everyday needs is provided to customers 24/7/365 for often less than the cost of cable television services.
Staffing additions in the Fire Department will allow the City to have additional staff to open the new Fire Station #8 on Shadow Creek Parkway in Fiscal Year 2020, aimed at improving response times to properties between Beltway 8 and the northern half of Shadow Creek Ranch. Four new Police Officers will bring the total number of sworn Officers to 141. A new Park Naturalist will provide an educational experience for visitors to the new Delores Fenwick Nature Center when it opens in the next few months. Additionally, the City will add a Traffic Engineer position that will be responsible for planning, directing and reviewing traffic engineering and operation activities to improve traffic flow through Pearland.
The City maintains capital improvement funds with a wide variety of funding sources, local and leveraged from outside entities such as the State and Federal government. The most current City capital project milestone report,available online here, reflects nearly a half-billion dollars of public infrastructure investment for everything from a new surface water treatment plant, wastewater reclamation plant expansions, and road projects like Hughes Ranch Road, Smith Ranch Road, 288 frontage, Mykawa Road widening, and much more.
Recordings of each meeting are be available at pearlandtx.gov/councilvideos. Residents are encouraged to view the special web page devoted to the FY 19 Budget, which has been updated throughout the budget process. View the Budget or transmittal letter overview online by visiting pearlandtx.gov/FY19Budget.