PHOTO: The proposed budget for fiscal year 2024 includes $97.6 million for capital improvement projects, such as the new public safety headquarters.
The City of Victoria is planning to commit more resources to streets, public safety and other important services for next fiscal year while lowering the tax rate by a historic amount.
During Tuesday’s City Council meeting, City Manager Jesús A. Garza presented the proposed budget and tax rate for fiscal year 2024.
The $255 million budget includes a $97.6 million capital improvement program for infrastructure projects, such as:
- A modern public safety headquarters that will house the Victoria Police Department, the Victoria Fire Department administration and the Municipal Court
- Historic funding for street repairs, with an emphasis on residential streets
- Drainage and utility improvements
- Phase III of the citywide LED lighting project in partnership with AEP
Other key projects that will receive funding next fiscal year include:
- The 2024 bicentennial celebration
- Additional vehicles for first responders
- A master plan for the Victoria Community Center
- A new compensation study to ensure that the City is staying competitive in the job market
- Improved compensation for eligible first responders and experienced employees
Residents can review the proposed budget at www.victoriatx.gov/budget.
Property tax rate to decrease
The City is recommending a property tax rate of $0.4898 per $100 of valuation, a decrease of $0.0684 or 13% from last year’s tax rate. Because the City’s assessed tax base has grown by nearly 20%, the City will see an increase in total property tax revenue if the proposed rate is adopted.
Values of new and existing commercial properties increased at a greater rate compared to residential properties, which is a reverse of trends from recent years.
“The increase in property values and new development gives us an opportunity to lower the tax rate for our residents while continuing to invest in our future, without compromising the services we provide,” said City Manager Jesús A. Garza.
The new rate, if approved, will mark the fourth year in a row that the City has either decreased the property tax rate or kept it the same.
The budget and tax rate will be voted on at future meetings before they can go into effect:
- Aug. 29: Public hearing and vote on the budget and tax rate
- Sept. 5: Public hearing and final vote on the budget and tax rate
- Oct. 1: New budget and tax rate go into effect
City Council meetings are hosted at 5 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of every month at 105 W. Juan Linn St. Meetings are broadcast live on channels 15 and 115 and online at www.victoriatx.gov/tv15.