Budget Preparation Begins with Good Foundation
With budget planning for the next fiscal year under way, the city’s finances are sound. Having withstood what some economists have labeled “the Great Recession” with no layoffs or furloughs for employees, the city prepares for the next budget year with several positive economic indicators.
Irving property values experienced a 3.9 percent increase in the 2012–13 fiscal year and financial analysts forecast additional growth of up to 3 percent in the coming fiscal year. New residential construction along with office rent per square foot is on the rise, and office vacancy rates are down.
For the next fiscal year, the financial team will have to factor in forecasts of anticipated inflation of food, fuel and commodity prices; anticipated direct costs and increased regulation and reporting of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare); and slow growth in manufacturing.
“We have continued to balance the budget during the toughest times in recent history while improving service delivery,” Budget Administrator Bret Starr said. “We are committed to a sustainable budget; and residents can expect that Irving will continue to streamline processes and proactively identify ways to reduce operating expenses.”
Effective fiscal management has helped Irving maintain the second-lowest property tax rate among the 10 largest cities in North Texas. In addition, Moody’s Investors Services and Standard & Poor’s — two of the nation’s leading bond agencies — recently affirmed Irving’s double AAA rating. Irving is only one of five Texas cities to hold this rating, and has done so since 1996.
Residents are invited to provide input on the 2013–14 fiscal year budget during the remaining hearing set for 7 p.m. June 20 at City Hall, 825 W. Irving Blvd. Two additional hearings will be held to comment on the proposed budget following the budget retreat in August. Budget adoption is scheduled for Sept. 19.
Residents also can offer comments or ask questions about the budget at cityofirving.org/budgetguy. The city’s budget year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. Call the City Secretary’s Office at (972) 721-2493 to confirm hearing dates.
Posted June 10