City council approves 2013 budget
The city council has approved the 2013 fiscal year budget, allocating $4.2 billion in total citywide spending in a 16-1 vote held June 25.
Key features of the adopted budget include $1.1 billion in public safety spending, $5 million to the Rainy Day Fund, $5 million in contingent funding for the proposed independent Houston Forensics Science Center, $2 million in funding for the new sobering center, $9 million in retired debt by ReBuild Houston for new streets and drainage, as well as expansion of curbside and single-stream recycling to 30,000 additional homes.
The budget projects a 4.3 percent increase in property tax revenues and a 5.9 percent increase in sales tax revenues. Due to increased health care costs and contractual obligations related to pension benefits, the overall spending in the general fund is up $110 million from last year.
After six months of deliberation and detailed examination, council member Stephen Costello, of the city council’s Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee, noted that the BFA Committee spent several sessions reviewing the cost of each and every activity, program and service offered by individual city departments.
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