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Turner Proposes City Budget Just Shy Of $2.5 Billion For FY 2019

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s proposal would close a projected $114 million gap by cutting spending for all city departments other than HPD.

Mayor Turner
Photo: Andrew Schneider | Houston Public Media
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner

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Most City of Houston departments are looking at another round of budget cuts. Mayor Sylvester Turner is proposing a budget for the next fiscal year of $2.48 billion. That would increase spending about 3.5 percent. But that money is already spoken for.

The extra funds would go largely to debt payments and required pay raises for police. All departments other than HPD to would have tighten their belts for the third year in a row.

"The proposed budget closes a $114 million gap without layoffs while maintaining a healthy fund balance," Mayor Turner said.

The end of a lawsuit over firefighter pensions and higher than expected sales tax receipts help close the gap. But Turner warns the city has no more room to balance the books through spending cuts. "Further significant reductions in department spending will not be practical for addressing financial issues without significant layoffs of key personnel," he said.

Turner said Houston is certain to face future shortfalls as long as the city's revenue cap is in place.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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