City of Sugar Land

SUGAR LAND (Covering Fort Bend News) - Sugar Land City Council approved the fiscal year 2020 budget of $272.6 million and tax rate of 33.2 cents at their Sept. 17 meeting. 

The approved budget and capital improvement program “emphasize the implementation of priority services and programs that directly benefit residents and enhance the quality of life in Sugar Land with little change in the average residential tax bill,” said city officials.  Priority services and programs include increasing funding for infrastructure rehabilitation for streets, sidewalks, facilities, parks and drainage; continuing investment in technology to enhance traffic and mobility responsiveness; supplementing traffic safety resources; and the final phases of projects previously approved by voters.  Overall, the average residential tax bill will only increase $24, or approximately two percent, due to a strategic increase to the homestead exemption from 10 percent to 12 percent approved by the City Council in June.    

“First and foremost, the fiscal year 2020 budget and CIP reflect the city’s commitment to delivering the Sugar Land Way – which is a commitment to meeting residents’ expectations, both in terms of the service levels and the value for tax dollar provided by the city,” said City Manager Allen Bogard.  “The City of Sugar Land has a long history of recognition as a leader in financial stewardship, success and resiliency – including having one of the lowest tax rates in Texas among cities our size.  As we approach our 60th anniversary as a city, I am proud that the City Council’s hard work to deliver this budget will continue to benefit and positively impact the quality of life of residents in Sugar Land for years to come.”

The fiscal year 2020 budget includes $40.5 million for capital projects, including priority projects such as Settlers Park drainage improvements; major street rehabilitation; capital projects funded through utility revenues to implement the Integrated Water Resources Plan to meet additional mandated surface-water requirements; and the final phases of the 2013 voter-approved parks bond projects.  The five-year CIP – which includes out-year projects for planning purposes – totals $263.8 million, including approximately $90 million in projects to be considered by voters in November.    

Additionally, recognizing that water utility rates – including surface water fees – have not been increased since January 2014, the fiscal year 2020 budget includes a five percent increase to water/wastewater rates and a 10 percent increase to surface water fees in January 2020, which results in an estimated seven percent increase to monthly bills – or $5 per month for the average utility user – as the city prepares to implement significant capital projects to meet the mandated 60 percent groundwater reduction in 2025.  Additionally, solid waste rates will increase by 2.5 percent – from $18.91 to $19.38, consistent with the contract for services. 

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