HOUSTON – The Office of Management and Budget released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2022-2023 on Monday.
The proposed budget, which covers the period from Oct. 1, 2022, until Sept. 30, 2023, includes a $2.24 billion operating budget for the General Fund and $137 million operating budget for the Flood Control District.
The office said the proposed budget reflects the priorities of public safety, infrastructure, and flood resiliency. The budget includes strategic initiatives in public safety: hiring new deputies, investigators for violent crimes, and detention officers; investments in lighting and demolishing abandoned buildings; and a recently created violence interruption program. The budget also funds the maintenance of the county’s flood control channels and staff to manage the $2.5 billion flood control bond program approved by the voters in 2018.
A news release with the proposed budget noted, “With the recent inflation causing economic anxiety, the FY22-23 proposed budget will decrease the combined tax rate by four percent. In addition, Harris County recently raised the homestead exemption for over-65 and disabled homeowners to $250,000 and, under Texas law, annual increases in taxable value are capped at 10%.
“The proposed budget is fiscally sound and does not run a deficit despite extraordinary inflation, particularly in health care costs,” the Office of Management and Budget said. “All employee benefits are maintained at their current levels.”
The news release continues, “While the budget is modest in light of the growing needs of Harris County, it makes focused investments to maintain the current level of services and addresses some of the public’s most pressing needs.”
The Harris County Commissioners Court will take up discussion of the proposed budget on Aug. 23. The Office of Management and Budget said it is likely the court will approve a budget sometime in September.