TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The City of Tyler is proposing a $228.1 million budget for 2023 and laid out their plans at a council meeting on Wednesday.

The theme of the budget is “Tyler Transformed.” There will be a public hearing on the proposed budget and tax rate at Tyler City Hall on Aug. 24 at 9 a.m., and another on Sept. 14 at 9 a.m.

Some bullet points from the city’s proposed budget include:

  • A new, lower tax rate of $0.261850 (the current rate is $0.2699)
    • Tyler’s tax rate is the lowest in Smith County, the city announced.
  • A regulatory compliance fee increase of $5.08, which they say is necessary to service the debt on the rehabilitation of Tyler’s sanitary sewer system.
  • Storm water collection fee increase from 6% to 7%
    • This is to help maintain storm water drainage facilities, as increases in development in the city is causing less and less rainwater to be soaked up.
  • A rate increase of $1.28 to the residential waste collection fee
    • The fee covers twice-weekly trash pickup, code enforcement on-demand and community beautification programs.
  • Capital replacement program for tasers, fleet cameras, body cameras and license plate readers for police
  • Two new fire recruits, funding for two new fire engines and fire facility upgrades
  • 5% pay increase for police and fire personnel
  • Non-civil service city employees can get up to a 5% merit increase based on their individual performance

The largest chunk of general fund spending is for police and fire funding, which will get $34 million and $23 million, respectively.

“We have the best team of public servants in the state,” said City Manager Edward Broussard. “We must be mindful of market rates and the effect of 9% inflation to keep quality employees.”

The city also committed $200,000 to begin removing substandard structures and another $100,000 for tree removal related to recent storm events.

In addition, the city has budgeted $16.1 million out of the income from the half-cent fund for upcoming street reconstruction projects and phase three of the Traffic Signalization Modernization Project. The half-cent sales tax will help projects in several sectors, including:

  • Tourism/trails – $3.7 million
  • Airport – $859,000
  • Streets/Traffic – $16.1 million
  • Drainage – $5.8 million

Two cents of the sales tax rate, $1.8 million, will go to seal coat 25 miles of city streets, including working to remove, chip, chisel and level Tyler’s brick streets. Sales tax is the city’s biggest revenue source, and is used to fund police, fire, streets, traffic and other general fund departments.

In addition to that, there are six projects for storm water maintenance projects totaling $926,000, cash-funded. Projects includes the following work:

  • Willow Creek at N. Parkdale Drive
  • Indian Creek at Loop 323
  • Willow Creek at Loop 323
  • Storm drain improvements on Bois D’Arc
  • Storm drain improvements on Park Heights Circle
  • Inlet boxes on S. Glenwood Avenue and Grove Street

The taxable values in Tyler for FY 2023 will bring in about $26.8 million in property taxes, which is a $2 million increase from last year to be allocated for expanding public safety services.

“As Tyler grows, public safety services must grow,” said Mayor Don Warren.

The W.T. Brookshire Convention Center should be completed by December 2022. The proposed budget includes funding to make updates to the Tyler Rose Garden Center, including upgrades in the elevator for ADA accessibility and remodeling the kitchen areas in the center.

Also included in the budget are renovations for several parks, including renovations to the Lindsey Park softball fields, Pollard Park redevelopment, upgrades to Winters Park and more.

Warren said this budget “continues our tradition of responsible government spending  while accounting for our residents’ needs: smooth roadways, improved traffic flow, expanded drainage systems, upgraded water and sewer systems, and state-of-the-art facilities. It also reflects our commitment to growth and change in how we do business.”

You can read the proposed budget for yourself online at this link. You can also watch City Manager Ed Broussard present the budget at Wednesday’s city council meeting.