City of Waco Budget Ok’d

Waco, Texas J.B. Smith The Waco Tribune August 18, 2015 Equity

A 2015-16 budget that holds the tax rate steady and steps up work on streets and utilities passed Waco City Council on Tuesday with no opposition.

The budget includes $5 million for street improvements — nearly triple the street budget of recent years — and pays for a high-tech pavement inventory system.

It also calls for a $71.5 million bond issue in January for water and sewer infrastructure, including new cross-city water mains and sewer transfer stations. To support the bond issue, the typical combined water and sewer rate would increase by $4.66 a month, for a customer using 8,000 gallons of water a month.

Mayor Malcolm Duncan Jr. called the increases “modest” and said they will help the city turn around its aging infrastructure.

“It’s a luxury that we can do it with no more burden than that,” he said in an interview. “I think this will be a transformative year for management and council to address these priorities.”

The budget is based on a property tax rate that remains at 77.6 cents per $100 valuation and sales tax revenues conservatively projected to increase by 2 percent. The tax-supported general fund, which pays for basic functions such as streets, libraries, parks and public safety, will increase 6.8 percent to $123.3 million.