LUBBOCK, Texas – On Tuesday, the Lubbock City Council ratified a $968 million budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year with a 6-1 vote. District 3 Councilman Mark McBrayer was the only one to object.
“When times are tough, the city’s policymakers should direct our city management to make decisions to control, and even cut, a budget in order to ease the tax burden placed on our citizens,” McBrayer said. “Maybe good economic times will return soon. I certainly hope so, but that’s not the reality that the average Lubbock household faces.”
Lubbock City Manager Jarrett Atkinson said he’s excited about the changes to come, many of which are geared toward safety. It also includes a 4% cost-of-living adjustment for all city employees.
“We’re adding firefighters for our next new fire station, and we’re adding police officers,” Atkinson said. “We’re continuing as we buy our vehicles and more trash trucks. We’ve been incredibly delayed on those. We’ve been able to increase street maintenance with cash for next year to $13.5 million and that’s up from $12 million this year.”
The City Council also adopted the new property tax rate which will be a 3.17% increase from the year prior. It was once again a 6-1 vote with McBrayer being the only one against. The average Lubbock homeowner can expect to pay an additional $103 for the year.
“I am not one who would never vote to raise taxes, but I’ve never had a single one of my constituents come up to me and say they hoped I’d raise their taxes,” McBrayer said.
With these decisions being finalized, Atkinson said he feels the city is right on track for the upcoming year.
“I think we’re in a great place for next year,” Atkinson said. “I appreciate what the council has done, all seven of them. The amount of work they put into this is incredible.”
The new budget and tax rate will take effect on Oct. 1, 2023.