|Mayor Sylvester Turner announced details of the proposed FY ’24 budget today, describing it as a fiscally sound spending plan that provides a strong fund balance reserve and prepares Houston for the future,The proposed budget for all funds totals $6.2 billion and represents Mayor Turner’s eighth and final budget. It is balanced with the strongest fund balance reserve in recent history, placing the City in the best fiscal position to address future economic uncertainties.
The proposed General Fund budget of $2.9 billion reflects an increase in spending of $120 million or 4.3 percent from the FY2023 current Budget of $2.8 billion.
The increase in spending is primarily driven by:
- Pay increases for all employee groups including 3 percent for municipal employees, 3 percent for police, and 6 percent for fire totaling $51 million. The 6 percent fire pay raise included in this budget represents the third-year of an 18 percent cumulative pay raise valued at $115 million.
- $47 million increase in transfers to the Dedicated Drainage Street and Renewal Fund (DDSRF), or Rebuild Houston, to support streets and drainage projects in the CIP, coupled with a decrease in debt service of $7 million, for a net increase of $40 million for pay-as-you-go and debt.
- $160 million in ARPA funding to further address the reduction in revenues due to the public health emergency. *note: even in the absence of the ARPA funding, the City would have been able to balance the FY2024 budget by drawing down from the fund balance.
- An additional $11.3 million transfer to the Maintenance Renewal and Replacement Fund to address deferred maintenance for a total of $42.9 million.
- OPEB trust contribution – $8 million General Fund – $10 million including all funds
Additionally, the mayor’s plan fully funds the Budget Stabilization Fund representing more than $20 million, and does not include any deferrals, one-time land sales, or fund balance drawdown.
Public safety remains at the forefront of the mayor’s budget priorities, fully funding five (5) cadet classes for the police and four (4) for the fire department. Under Mayor Turner’s leadership, HPD has recruited and hired 2,200 police officers, making him the mayor with the second-highest hiring rate of police officers.
“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 in Jan. 2016. We are better today than we were yesterday, and we’ll be better tomorrow than we are today,” said Mayor Turner.