No frills, thrills for City of Tyler with $4.8M less in budget

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Layron Livingston - bio | email
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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - There will be no frills and no thrills for the City of Tyler, presenting a bare-bones budget for next year. The city presented its proposed financial plan with considerably less money to work with - nearly $5,000,000 less than last year.

In Tyler, development is down, hotel taxes and tourism dollars are down, property values are down and sales tax revenues are down.

"We're just about as lean as we can be and still keep our services going," said Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass.

"There are no new programs that are being budgeted," said Mark McDaniel, the city manager. "There are no new positions, or new initiatives. It's basically a maintenance budget."

$4,800,000 has been cut from the proposed budget. The city plans break even by putting off projects, cutting funding to outside agencies and keeping the tax rate  virtually untouched.

"This is not a time to be raising taxes...above your effective rate," said McDaniel.

He says the city's tax rate is one of the lowest in the state for a city Tyler's size. The proposal also includes some fee increases at city-owned cemeteries. Premium city trash service fees would also go up.

"We try to make it directly related to the cost of that service so that those who are using that service are paying for that service," he explained.

The city has also plans to keep about 50 positions frozen.

"Maybe we don't get to a pothole as quickly as we have in the past, or maybe a park isn't mowed as quickly as it has been in the past...but we're going to try to maintain those service levels," he said.

The city says under the proposed budget, some employee health insurance premiums could increase about $30 a month, starting in January. The council is expected to vote on adopting the budget next month.

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