City entering the fiscal year cash strapped

LA FERIA — After mulling over the proposed budgets for months, the city commission has adopted a $3.6 million budget.

And it’s a tight one, jut like the last.

The approved budget will raise more revenue from property taxes than last year’s budget by $27,599, which is a 1.69 percent increase from last year’s budget.

According to the budget report, the property tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year is $12,641.

The property taxes stayed the same as last year’s rate of $0.76.

Due to increasing property values most people will see a small increase on their tax bill for city services.

The report states, the total amount of municipal debt obligations outstanding, which are secured by property taxes, is $20,172,050.

However, city leaders made some cuts across the budget, agreeing to hike the emergency service monthly fee from $1 to $5 that will be added to all water bills to help cut the deficit and fund projects.

La Feria City Manager Jaime Sandoval reported the city was pinching pennies last year. This year looks like the same game plan.

Sandoval said unnecessary expenses would be cut and money saved will be used to complete several projects.

Some department expenses that were trimmed by almost 50 percent from the past budget included the city Christmas event and July 4th celebration.

The city is cash strapped and has begun to shave off expenses to get any kind of economic breathing room.

To keep employee morale high, commissioners agreed to add a one-time salary increase of 4 percent for full-time employees.

City of La Feria

Total Expenditures: $3,692,843

Proposed Budget

2018-19 Sources of Income

Emergency services fees: $174,500

Garbage: $680,00

Brush: $225,00

Swimming pool: $28,000

Municipal court fines: $258,000