(RICHMOND) - Richmond City Commission saw an overview of the fiscal year 2024 proposed budget this week. Staff reviewed major fund revenues and expenditures in this first workshop beginning with an overview of the General Fund, the primary operating fund for the city which includes traditional services such as police, fire, public works and parks to name a few.
Staff shared that property tax is the most stable revenue source making up 20 percent of total revenues while sales tax, as the largest revenue stream, accounts for 31 percent of total revenue. Strong sales tax numbers help reduce property tax for residents and businesses. A key assumption is that the sales tax is anticipated to experience an 11.2 percent growth compared to the previous year’s budget, officials said. It is proposed that other General Fund revenue budgets will increase.
The General Fund budget for 2024 increased to $21.6 million, a 9.8 percent increase over current fiscal 2023 of $19.8 million.
“We will want to keep an eye on this increase to the General Fund,” said Commissioner Terry Gaul.
The fiscal year 2024 operating budget included a presentation on the Utility fund (water and sewer) which is funded through user fees, not property taxes. Staff proposed no increase to utility funds- water, sewer, or surface water. Key assumptions include maintaining existing service level expectations, a 5 percent general salary increase, a 7 percent increase for health insurance and an increase from 15.25 percent to 15.74 percent in the Texas Municipal Retirement System.
City of Richmond residents will see a 2.5 percent Homestead Exemption for 2024, a 1 percent increase voted on by city commission in June of this year. The next Budget Workshop is Tuesday, Aug. 22, at Richmond City Hall Annex, 600 Morton Street, to discuss the Proposed Tax Rate and further budget discussions.