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Mayor Of Houston Releases Proposed Budget For 2017; $82 Million Less Than 2016

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner released a summary of his proposed city budget on Friday.

presser in City Hall
Mayor Sylvester Turner presents his 2017 budget.

The mayor’s budget closes a $160 million deficit in fiscal year 2017.

It does so with the help of almost $20 million from tax increment reinvestment zones, one-time land sales and other non-recurring revenue, and the elimination of 54 vacant positions and 30 to 40 layoffs. Normally, the TIRZ money would stay in that particular area of the city.  

Turner says the savings from one-time items ensures another 1,200 city employees get to keep their jobs and there are no cuts to essential services.

To avoid that scenario next year, Turner says he has a plan to address the city’s pension debt, which is in part responsible for the city’s lowered credit rating.

The general fund budget totals $2.3 billion — that’s $82 million less than in the current fiscal year.

The Houston City Council is scheduled to vote on the budget on May 25th. 

“I strongly urge City Council to resist the urge to tinker with this budget,” Turner said in an emailed statement.  “Even one small change will upset the delicate balance we’ve achieved as a result of shared sacrifice and put the city at risk for a credit rating downgrade.  This plan prepares us for the additional fiscal challenges anticipated in FY18 while also improving public safety, increasing employment opportunities and meeting the critical needs of the less fortunate in our city.” 

When Turner presented his budget summary to the media, three council members expressed their support, including Jack Christie, who chairs the council’s budget committee.

The new fiscal year starts July 1st. 

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Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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