Over the years I have learned there are several things that concern citizens; Budget, Taxes, Open Government and Progress to name a few. Let me update you on these topics as we stand today:
The 2012-2013 Budget is BALANCED!
General Fund and Water Sewer Fund Budgets are both 100% balanced.
General Fund budget is $9,302,364 and Water Sewer Fund Budget is $6,933,940.
Crime Control & Prevention District Budget is balanced with an ending balance of $575,223. Economic Development Fund Budget is balanced with an ending balance of $882,815.
The City has received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from GFOA (Governmental Finance Officers Association) which is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.
The most “popular” question I hear is why funds are spent on a particular project when it is clear another project also needs to be addressed. The city has several budgets which make up the Operating Budget and these funds are governed by state law as to what they may be used for. Budget line items are discussed during budget workshops and decided on by the City Council. There are also Public Hearings for citizens to bring their concerns before the Council. We welcome your input at any Council Meeting or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taxes, Taxes, Taxes!
Property tax rate for the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year is $0.614715 which is 17.17% LESS than last year’s rate. This means an average homestead paid $332.14 last year and the same homestead will be paying $275.11 this year, a savings of $57.03.
Sales taxes for fiscal year 2010-2011 were $2,620,955. They were $3,157,536 prior to the end of the 2011-2012 fiscal years, which included a strike at Lockheed Martin which impacted the city by seeing a minimal decline in sales taxes. The proposed sales taxes are $3,200,000 for the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year. Sales taxes are historically increasing.
Open Government is open communication between the government and the citizens it serves and the accountability of its elected officials and staff. If you have not seen the City’s new website, please visit http://www.wstx.us and check us out! We are proud to launch this new website providing easier access to city reports, documents and information 24 hours a day / seven days a week. This is another step we are taking to improve our transparency to our citizens. Looking for something you cannot find online? Have a comment or concern for a council member? Let us know about it by emailing email@example.com and we will be glad to provide the document you are requesting or forward your comment or concern to your council members. We appreciate your feedback!
“Be not afraid of progress, be afraid of standing still” – Chinese proverb. There is a lot to be said in those ten words. Our city is progressing and moving forward; the change is sometimes difficult, but without change there is not growth. Our city is growing, and we will experience growing pains along with our progress. Our staff is working on a daily basis with businesses, investors, corporations and developers in bringing new opportunities to our area. We, as a community, must continue to support our local businesses, be patrons of local shops and eateries, and refer friends, relative and co-workers to local businesses who provide services. Without community support their success is limited. When our local businesses succeed the progress of the city is limitless.
Jerry Burns, Mayor