HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Houston City Council has approved Mayor Sylvester Turner’s proposed $4.9 billion municipal government operating budget, which balances revenue and spending without new taxes or layoffs of city workers.
“This is a forward-looking budget that addresses the economic uncertainties facing Houston," said Mayor Turner. "At the same time, it upholds my priorities: public safety first and foremost, wise financial stewardship and a welcoming city that offers opportunities to everyone. I thank council members for their support, input, passion and understanding.”
Following damage from Hurricane Harvey to the City of Houston, Mayor Turner proposed a balanced annual budget by taking advantage of the city’s fund balance and continuing to reduce city department spending by a total of more than $80 million over a three-year period, according to a statement from the mayor's office.
The fiscal year 2019 budget was also aided by the mayor’s pension reform efforts, which were approved by the Texas Legislature in 2017 and voted through during the November 2017 election. The mayor's office says the reform will save the city $300 million in 2018 alone.
The budget will fully fund the pension obligation with no deferments and no one-time sales of city real estate.
Mayor Turner accounted for five police cadet classes and three firefighter cadet classes as part of the proposed budget.
“The budget provides the foundation for addressing future challenges with a practical, balanced approach,” added Mayor Turner.