New budget would be adopted on Sept. 12, new fiscal year begins Oct. 1
KILLEEN, Texas (July 12, 2023) – Killeen City Manager, Kent Cagle, presented the finalized proposed budget to City Council members for the first time during Tuesday night’s council meeting, highlighting council priorities and a focus on the Comprehensive Plan goals.
The proposed budget includes a tax rate of 62.08 cents, and the current fiscal year 2023 tax rate is 62.33. The current FY23 tax rate is the largest reduction in the tax rate since 1990. Over the past three years, the City’s tax rate has been reduced 12.65 cents. Prior to these three instances, the last reduction in the tax rate occurred in 2005.
General Fund expenditures for the proposed FY 2024 budget are $120.3 million, which is $7.4 million (6.6%) higher than the current FY 2023 budget.
Major General Fund expense requests from departments include a new Public Safety position, a pay increase for paramedics, overtime for fire operations, the civil service compensation plan and a 6-7% cost of living increase for employees. There were about $10 million in requested items from departments that were not funded.
Other major General Fund operating expenses in the proposed budget total more than $2 million and include the Hill Country Transit District (HOP) of $750,000, Information Technology ($484,927) and Mowing Transition from Solid Waste ($367,508), among others.
There is a proposed residential water rate increase of $1.50 and a proposed sewer increase of $1.50 a month, due to the Water Control and Improvement District’s (WCID) increase of more than $800,000. The proposed rate increase is only to the minimum rate and there is no proposed change in the volumetric rate.
Changes to General Fund revenue include $2.1 million over the prior fiscal year’s budget, $6.8 million in property taxes (due to an increase in values and new construction), a decrease of $1.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding and a decrease in about $632,000 in the Disabled Veteran Exemption, due to a reduction in state reimbursement.
Cagle also highlighted accomplishments, while looking ahead to FY24 goals. Accomplishments include adopting the Homeless and Mental Health Strategic Plan, recruiting and hiring three executive directors and a police chief, continued improvement of Historic Downtown and the revitalization plan, including ARPA funding for businesses and nonprofit organizations.
Goals include monitoring and managing the City’s financial condition, promoting citizen engagement through multiple platforms and continuing street reconstruction/maintenance, traffic management, and public transit efforts.
The proposed budget follows the “Big Ideas” in the Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2022, including growth in a fiscally responsible way, positive community culture, a local business ecosystem, an improved transportation network, neighborhoods vs. subdivisions and a vibrant downtown.
The first public hearing on the proposed budget is set for Aug. 1. Council will decide if a second public hearing is necessary and, if so, that will be held on Sept. 5. The new budget is scheduled to be adopted on Sept. 12.
The full 461-page proposed budget document is available on the City’s website at www.KilleenTexas.gov/Budget.
Residents may also view each City Council meeting in their entirety on our website, www.KilleenTexas.gov/CouncilMeetings and the government channel, Spectrum Cable Channel 10.