The City of Brownsville Commission came together, at its August 15th meeting, to unanimously ratify the City's Fiscal Year 2024 General Fund Budget amounting to $121M, alongside Certificates of Obligation valued at $29.6M.
The First Public Notice of the budget offers a substantial decrease of the property tax rate for citizens, from .691919 in 2023 to .607987 in 2024 (8-cent cut per $100 valuation), making this the fourth consecutive reduction in the City’s tax rate and the largest in recent history.
This budget marks a milestone for the City and includes a 3.5% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase for our full-time civilian employees, a FY23 one-time $1,315 stipend for full-time civilian employees and a $658 stipend for civilian part-time employees. In addition, this rollout includes a new 9/80 flex work schedule.
Twelve and a half million dollars of the Certificates of Obligation are devoted to complete streets and drainage improvements and repairs. More specifically, Old Highway 77 will notably benefit from this investment, with $4.5M earmarked, completing the funding for the approximately $8M reconstruction project. Identified street projects will encompass comprehensive design, rebuild, and repair endeavors. The list of improved streets includes, but is not limited to:
• Old Highway 77
• Stagecoach Road
• Wild Rose Lane
• East 14th Street
• Coffee Road and Coffee Port Road
• Old Alice Road
“Our budget exemplifies an Employee First Focus that rewards our dedicated employees with a 3.5% COLA they have not received since 2014, while lowering the tax rate for our residents,” said Helen Ramirez, AICP, Brownsville City Manager. “This demonstrates our ONE CITY approach, where internally and collectively, with external community partners, we provide citizens with improved service levels while accelerating our strong economy.”
“The tax rate move is a game changer,” said Michael Delmore, Brownsville City Chief Financial Officer. “It allows for the City to become more competitive in attracting new businesses, is beneficial for existing residents, as well as families desiring to relocate to Brownsville.”
Brownsville’s economic growth remains robust, with sales tax surging 112.5% over the past eight years, translating to a yearly growth rate of 14.1%. Surplus sales tax revenue in Fiscal Year 2024 will be considered towards one-time projects and reinvestment in beautification, trails, parks and recreation, infrastructure, technology, and matching grant funds.