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City Council Adopts Fiscal Year 2023 Budget with a Tax Rate Decrease

The El Paso City Council adopted the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget with a decrease in the tax rate by 4.49 cents—a savings of $19.3 million to City taxpayers—while remaining focused on prioritizing the community’s needs.

The proposed budget will lower the tax rate to 86.24 cents, per $100.

The Council also approved the Firefighters’ Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which was also calculated into the adopted budget. The Firefighter’s CBA includes:

  • An annual 3% salary increase for the fire department for the next four years, in addition to the annual step increase of 5% (unless at the max step)
  • improved benefits services
  • increased vacations
  • incentive payment for specialized training

This year’s budget will also support:

  • A net increase of 60 police officers and firefighters in preparation for new police and fire stations (including the opening of a new fire station on Trans Mountain) and the purchase of new police cars and fire equipment
  • A $10 million allocation for street resurfacing projects, plus another $2.3 million for traffic safety and neighborhood traffic mitigation program
  • Operating costs for the Children’s Museum, Mexican American Cultural Center, Penguin Exhibit at the Zoo, Joey Barraza and Vino Regional Park, all scheduled to open next year
  • An aggressive plan to invest in the City workforce, by increasing the City minimum wage by 9 percent next year (in addition to the 7.2 percent minimum wage increase made in May 2022)
  • An increase in fixed costs and contracts due to inflationary impacts, including information technology, janitorial, security, November election, appraisal services, and utilities

The City budget also responds to the community’s priorities identified through multiple outreach opportunities including the City’s Chime In Survey process, City Council requests, and other community surveys. The City’s approach to this year’s budget includes:

  • Providing financial relief to taxpayers through strategic economic recovery
  • Continuing our commitment to the community with the completion of bond projects (capital and operating costs) and providing exceptional services
  • Investing aggressively in our workforce through compensation, benefits, and incentives
  • Adding cost growths in contractual obligations and fixed costs due to current economic environment

The City leadership, with Council direction, has developed a Strategic Economic Recovery plan to include:

      • No tax rate increase for the last two years and tax decrease provided last year for 52,000 seniors & disabled
      • Tax rate decrease proposed for upcoming budget
      • State constitutional amendment increasing the amount of the homestead exemption savings from $25,000 to $40,000
      • $196 million in savings on Texas Gas costs (Winter Storm URI)
      • $28.3 million savings on El Paso Electric rate case settlement (about $117 savings on the average residential bill)
      • $268 million in new property tax revenue for all taxing entities as a result of City Economic Incentive Agreements
      • $37 million for rental and utility assistance, $29.4 million in Community Development from CARES and ARPA, and $35.9 million for small business assistance

 

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