PHOTO: The fiscal year 2024 budget includes funding for Victoria’s bicentennial celebration.
The Victoria City Council at its Sept. 5 meeting passed the budget for fiscal year 2024, preparing the City to provide services and enhance livability during its bicentennial year.
The new budget will go into effect Oct. 1.
In addition to ongoing expenditures for City services, the $256 million budget includes funding for several key projects and initiatives.
Public safety headquarters
PHOTO: The fiscal year 2024 budget includes funding for a new public safety headquarters.
Next spring, construction will begin on a new public safety headquarters at Main Street and Airline Road that will house the Victoria Police Department, including dispatch services; the Victoria Fire Department administration; and the City of Victoria Municipal Court.
The current facilities for these services are unsafe, decentralized and/or outdated. The new headquarters will accommodate staff growth for the next 25 years and help the City’s public safety departments better serve the public.
PHOTO: The fiscal year 2024 budget includes repairs for 20 miles of City streets, including Vine Street near Riverside Park.
The City will repair 20 miles of streets next fiscal year, an increase from the previous year. Most of the $30 million in street funds will be used for neighborhoods, including Bon Aire, College Park and Tanglewood. Vine Street is also scheduled for repairs near Riverside Park.
LED Lighting Project Phase III
PHOTO: The fiscal year 2024 budget includes funding for Phase III of the citywide LED Lighting Project.
By the end of calendar year 2023, AEP will finish replacing all 4,052 of its street lights in Victoria with bright, white LED models. During the next phase of the citywide lighting project, the City will pursue a contract with Victoria Electric Cooperative to upgrade the 250 street lights serviced by VEC.
Also during this phase, the City will conduct a photometric study to identify areas that need further lighting improvements.
The City of Victoria turns 200 next year, and the City is planning a series of milestone projects and events to celebrate Victoria’s past, present and future, including an unveiling ceremony for the new statues of founders Martín de León and Patricia de la Garza.
To stay competitive in the job market, the City is increasing pay for eligible first responders (including entry-level police officers and firefighter/EMTs) and experienced employees. The City will also conduct a compensation study to better understand where it stands in comparison to other municipalities.
Other projects in the new budget include:
- New vehicles for first responders
- A master plan for the Victoria Community Center
- Drainage and utility improvements
Council sets lower property tax rate
Also at the Sept. 5 meeting, the City Council approved a property tax rate of $0.4898 per $100 of valuation, a decrease of 13% compared to fiscal year 2023.
The impact on residents’ property taxes will vary depending on their property values and the rates levied by other taxing entities.
Some factors that have helped to shift the tax burden away from homeowners include:
- Increased commercial property values: Values of commercial properties increased at a greater rate compared to residential properties, which is a reversal from recent years.
- New developments: About 15% of the property tax revenue increase for next fiscal year is from new developments, rather than existing properties.
- Increased sales tax revenue: Sales tax revenue is expected to increase by about $840,000 compared to fiscal year 2023.
Property tax revenue makes up about 35% of the City’s general fund, followed by sales tax revenue at 33%. Other funding sources include franchise tax revenue and permit/service fees.
To learn more about the fiscal year 2024 budget, visit www.victoriatx.gov/budget.
To learn more about capital improvement projects that are planned for the next four years, visit www.victoriatx.gov/engineering. Capital improvement projects are subject to Council approval on a yearly basis.