Killeen city budget faces serious financial problems - KXXV Central Texas News Now


Killeen city budget faces serious financial problems

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)

On Tuesday, the budget presented to city council members in Killeen revealed the city was over $7 million in debt.

This morning, the Mayor of Killeen Jose Segarra talked about the city’s plans on fixing the financial situation.

Segarra said the city council is currently trying to come up with the best budget that has to be approved in September, but residents could see an increase in some areas like utilities and property taxes.

"The budget is just part of it because right now we have a short fall," said Segarra.

Mayor Segarra said the city doesn't want to put the burden on the citizens without trying to figure out other ways to save money.

"In the past we just haven't done a good job in saying "OK" how are we going to pay for it, and so that's why we're stuck we got more growth and less revenue coming in," Segarra said.

The city of Killeen generates 60 percent of its revenue from property and sales taxes.

On the new budget being proposed for 2017, if the city went up 2 cents for every dollar paid in property taxes that could generate $1 million in revenue.

"We don't want to increase no services, before we start looking at any type of increase what the council wants to do is, 'OK' where can we cut from expenses," Segarra said.

One area the city proposed to cut is the curbside recycling program that's actually costing the city money rather than earning it. Once this program is cut, it will save the city around $185,000 a year - which is still a very small percentage of $7 million.

However, with this new budget being proposed, Segarra said no new employees will be added, and they don't foresee any major job cuts being made.

But, there are other areas where tough decisions have to be made.

"Are we going to create impact fees, are we going to charge more on services, are we going to look at the tax rate," Segarra said.

He said other major areas like roadway projects that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars those will remain in place, but city leaders are working overtime to try and reduce the amount of money the city is spending.

Before the budget is approved in September, the city council will vote on whether the city should expect to see any tax increases.

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