New fiscal year begins Oct. 1, tax rate decreases for fourth straight year
KILLEEN, Texas (Sept. 13, 2023) – Two months after Killeen City Manager, Kent Cagle, presented a proposed fiscal year 2024 budget to City Council members, representatives adopted the new budget of $244 million, following recommendations during Tuesday night’s council meeting.
“Staff, leaders and City Councilmembers worked tirelessly to ensure we could meet as many needs as possible, while still being fiscally responsible in this budget,” City Manager, Kent Cagle said. “The 2022 Comprehensive Plan was at the center of our financial decisions and that plan came directly from our citizens. We heard our residents and thank them for helping guide our decisions.”
The newly-passed FY ‘24 budget will be effective from Oct. 1, 2023 to Sept. 30, 2024 and focuses on the goals of the Killeen 2040 Plan (the 2022 Comprehensive Plan), as well as City Council’s priorities and strategic items that include competitive pay, hiring more employees to meet service demands and making healthcare plans more affordable for employees.
The FY ‘24 budget includes a tax rate of 62.08 cents. The current fiscal year 2023 tax rate is 62.33. The City’s tax rate has decreased by 12.90 cents in the last four years. Prior to these instances, the last reduction in the tax rate occurred in 2005. The current FY23 tax rate is the largest reduction in the tax rate since 1990.
General Fund revenues for FY 2024 are $120.6 million, which is $7.7 million or 6.8% higher than the FY 2023 budget. The primary changes in revenues include an increase of $6.9 million from property tax, $2.1 million from sales tax, and $0.69 million from interest income. Sales taxes are forecasted to finish at $35.4 million, which is $1.4 million over the FY 2023 budget.
General Fund expenditures for the proposed FY 2024 budget are $120.6 million, which is $7.7 million (6.8%) higher than the current FY 2023 budget. The main changes can be attributed to civil service 7% cost of living adjustment and 6% cost of living adjustment for classified employees.
Major General Fund expenses include a new Public Safety position, a pay increase for paramedics, overtime for fire operations, the civil service compensation plan and a 6-7% cost of living increase for employees. There were about $10 million in requested positions/programs from departments that were not funded.
Rate increases include a residential water rate increase of $1.50, a sewer increase of $1.50 a month, commercial water rate increases to higher tiered meters (year two of five in implementation plan) and an 8% commercial solid waste increase (year three of a Council-approved three-year implementation plan).
Changes to the General Fund revenue include a $2.1 million increase in sales tax over the current fiscal year’s budget, $6.9 million in property taxes, a decrease of $1.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding and a decrease in about $632,000 in the Disabled Veteran Exemption, due to a reduction in state reimbursement.
FY 2024 goals include monitoring and managing the City’s financial condition, promoting citizen engagement through multiple platforms and continuing street reconstruction/maintenance, traffic management, and public transit efforts.
The adopted budget follows the six Killeen 2040 “Big Ideas” in the 2022 Comprehensive Plan, including growth in a fiscally responsible way, positive community culture, a local business ecosystem, an improved transportation network, neighborhoods vs. subdivisions and a vibrant downtown.
The full proposed FY 2024 budget document, Capital Improvement Plan, council budget presentations and five videos breaking down the budget process are available on the City’s website at www.KilleenTexas.gov/Budget.