TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic are beginning to be felt at the local government level.
On Wednesday, Tyler city manager Edward Broussard presented the proposed budget for the 2021 fiscal year. He spoke at the difficulty of trying to set a budget while the pandemic continues to spread.
“In my two decades of leading municipal government, this has been the most difficult year that I’ve seen for budget administration and development.”Edward Broussard
The $202 million budget proposes keeping the property tax rate at 25.9 cents, roughly the same as it was this year. Tyler would have the lowest tax rate in the state for cities with a population above 15,000 if it is adopted.
Broussard said that keeping the rate the same will be tough due to the drop in revenue from the pandemic. Sales tax collections have dropped and the Hotel Occupancy Tax revenue has fallen more than $1.2 million. The revenue from sales tax makes up 42% of the city’s revenue.
“We will absorb these shortfalls and continue to provide key services, as local governments will not receive State and Federal bail outs for our revenue losses on sales tax, hotel occupancy tax, and other revenue streams,” said Broussard.
Some basic services will receive a slight increase in cost for residents. There will be a $2 bump on base monthly payments for water and the cost for solid waste services will go up by 33 cents.
If adopted, the budget will go into effect on October 1.