Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

The city of Houston recently announced its new proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2024, which the new mayor will inherit when elected next November as current mayor Sylvester Turner comes to the end of his final term as the city’s highest elected leader.

On Tuesday, the city revealed details of the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, with all funds for the budget totaling $6.2 million – an increase of 6.6 percent from the current fiscal year’s budget of $5.8 million according to the city.

During a Tuesday press conference announcing the proposed budget, Turner said the proposed budget would leave the city in the best position to address any future uncertainties than it has been in a number of years.

“In many ways, it is a budget that is futuristic,” Turner said. “We will be handing the budget off to the next mayor in better financial shape than when I came in. In fact, I believe it’s one of better budgets presented by the city in quite some time.”

According to city documents, the general fund expenditures for the proposed FY 2024 budget are set at $2.89 million, an increase of about 4.4 percent (or $120 million) compared to the current budget. That increase in spending, Turner said, is largely driven by pay increases for employees in employee groups in all departments.

It includes pay raises of 3 percent for both municipal employees and those in the police department, as well as a 6 percent pay raise for fire employees according to city documents, and will also fully fund five cadet classes for the Houston Police Department and four such classes for the Houston Fire Department according to documents. The budget also includes an additional $11.3 million transfer to the Maintenance Renewal and Replacement Fund to address deferred maintenance for a total of $42.9 million.

According to the city, property tax and sales tax will again be the primary source of revenue for the city, accounting for about 77 percent of proposed revenue for Fiscal Year 2024. The proposed property tax projection for next year is $1.37 billion, the city said, a nearly 8 percent increase from the current 2023 estimate. The sales tax projection, meanwhile, is down 3 percent from the estimate for the current year to $866 million.

For the full proposed budget and details on it, visit the city’s website at houstontx.gov/budget/24budprop/index.html.

“As we look ahead, strong financial management will need to continue,” Turner said. “… "I am proud to say that I will leave to the next mayor a budget that is better than it has been in a long time, much stronger than when I came into office. We are better today than we were yesterday, and we'll be better tomorrow than we are today.”

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