KILLEEN, Texas (FOX 44) – The Killeen City Council has approved a budget of $265 million for fiscal year 2023, which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30.

The City said Tuesday night that new budget includes a tax rate of 62.33 cents – which is 7.71 cents below the current rate and is the largest reduction in the tax rate since 1990. Over the past three years, the City’s tax rate has been reduced 12.65 cents. Prior to these three instances, the last reduction in the tax rate happened in 2005.

There is no change in water rates or solid waste rates for residential customers. Commercial water customers will see a 6.62 percent rate increase, ranging from .32 cents to $27.96, as well as an eight percent solid waste increase, ranging from $1.84 to $15.71, depending on size.

The City says General Fund expenditures for FY 2023 are $112.9 million, which is $6.6 million (6.2 percent) higher than the current FY 2022 budget. The increase is mostly attributed to six actions, including the three percent civil service cost of living adjustment ($1.2 million), absorbing $1 premium pay for certain public safety employees ($1.4 million), and a three percent cost of living adjustment for classified employees ($674,099).

The General Fund is the primary operating fund of the City of Killeen. It accounts for basic City services, such as police, fire, street maintenance, and parks and leisure services. The three, primary sources of revenue for this fund are sales tax, property tax, and franchise taxes.

The City says that sales tax revenues have been strong, and are currently forecasted to finish at $33.3 million – which is $2.5 million over the FY 2022 budget.

The average taxpayer’s property tax will increase by $5.22 per year, which is .43 cents per month. The total value of property exempted by the disabled veteran exemption is more than $1.4 billion, representing a loss in revenue of approximately $9.2 million. The City anticipates receiving $3.4 million of State reimbursement during FY 2023, which is a net loss in revenue of $5.8 million. The State increasing reimbursement of the disabled veteran exemption continues to be one of the primary focus points for the City’s legislative agenda, as the City is disproportionately impacted by the exemption.

City Manager Kent Cagle first presented the proposed budget to council on July 5. This presentation, as well as the full 467-page document, are available on the City’s website at www.KilleenTexas.gov/Budget. Residents are encouraged to review the budget brief, which is 18 pages of highlights. Residents can also view each City Council meeting in their entirety at www.KilleenTexas.gov/CouncilMeetings.

The City has produced four videos explaining the budget process and details within it, and Mayor Debbie Nash-King released a fifth video breaking down the budget and inviting citizens to be a part of the review process. They can be found on the City’s YouTube page: https://youtu.be/3YvtH9PLWkY.