City council to head into budget talks this week

City leaders in budget talks
Updated: Jul. 29, 2018 at 10:41 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Officials with the City of Lubbock will head into budget talks throughout the week and decide how to disperse around $800 million of city funds.

Special city council work sessions will be hosted inside City Hall, located at 1625 13th St., from Monday to Thursday. Dan Pope, mayor of Lubbock, said about $180 million is the general fund that goes toward city services, the rest come from fees from Lubbock Power & Light, water, the airport, solid waste and other areas.

The focus throughout this budget is to continue a type of pay-as-you-go mentality, that focuses more on on-hand cash rather than credit. That also means financing less and spending cash on specific items such as those used for street maintenance and city vehicles.

This past monetary philosophy has also created a reduction in city debt that has allowed a budget increase of 3 percent, Pope said.

"When you avoid issuing that debt and you pay for it in cash, that means your budget goes up because instead of paying it out over 15 years, 10 years (or) 20 years, you pay for it in one year," Pope said. "We took a little bit of heat last year about our budget going up but when you really dig into it we were much more efficient in the way we did things."

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There will also be a 1 cent increase in property taxes this upcoming year, Pope said, but that is also alongside an anticipated increase in sales tax revenue. Money from those increases will go toward the decentralization of the Lubbock Police Department. Those efforts currently include creating police substations, a crime lab, new municipal court, administrative headquarters and a property warehouse.

"That's what the overall project is. It will be a penny this year, up to two pennies next year -- maybe not quite as much," Pope said. "It will cost us $60 million to do that. We're going to keep it to that budget. That we have committed."

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