In a unanimous vote, Houston City Council today passed the city's $5.1 billion operating budget. Tax-supported general fund spending totals $2.4 billion. The Fiscal Year 2017 budget closes a $160 million budget gap with a combination of spending cuts, one-time land sales, debt refinancing and dipping into the city's reserves. The budget includes funding for an additional police cadet class and $750,000 for each council district to spend on needed projects and services. It also includes funding to continue payments to homeowner associations with private trash collection.
Council Member Travis offered an amendment proposing $30 million in additional budget cuts, but this measure did not pass. Travis also emphasized the need to bolster city savings by assuring all unspent Fiscal Year 2016 funds flow to the city's reserve account. "While this budget is imperfect, I supported it because it maintains services at current levels and also buys time for the city to work out a plan for comprehensive pension reform with employee groups and the state legislature," said Travis.
The Fiscal Year 2017 budget takes effect July 1, 2016.