On June 16, the Tulsa City Council unanimously approved the City of Tulsa Fiscal Year 2021-2022 budget.
The total budget for FY22 is $799.4 million, which includes all city funds, operations and capital funding from Improve Our Tulsa and Vision Tulsa. This is a decrease of $41 million, or 4.9 percent, less than the FY21 original adopted budget. The operating budget is $711 million, a $5.9 million increase or 0.8 percent over the FY21 original adopted budget.
The general fund, which funds most core services and operations, is projected to have $262.9 million in revenue, which is down by almost $29 million or 10 percent from the current budget year. This decline in revenue is largely due to the $30.9 million in one-time CARES Act funds received from the State of Oklahoma in FY21. So, FY21 general fund revenues excluding this one-time revenue are estimated to be $261.2 million.
“This has been a challenging time for City of Tulsa residents, businesses and employees as we move out of a pandemic and the recent ransomware attack,” Council Chair Vanessa Hall-Harper said.
“But for the last several months, the Council has had many conversations with Mayor Bynum and his team to ensure there are no surprises on a budget that prioritizes our collective initiatives. I am especially proud of the much-needed investment we are making in our employees after such a testing year.”
The Council and Mayor G.T. Bynum met in February for a retreat to discuss priorities for the upcoming budget year. Priorities include improving neighborhood conditions, public safety, employee compensation, community policing, continued work on Equality Indicators and more. The full discussion can be viewed here: https://cityoftulsa.viebit.com/player.php?hash=5xl0D1F8Racf.
“I would like to thank the Tulsa City Council for working collectively with our team over the last couple months as we developed a balanced budget during unprecedented times following a worldwide pandemic and a recent ransomware attack,” Mayor G.T Bynum said. “I look forward to the upcoming fiscal year as we make investments on the capital and operations side while continuing our mission critical services and funding compensatory increases for our dedicated employees.”
The street lighting program in neighborhoods across the city will continue to be funded, with an estimated 112 new streets lights expected to be installed to help increase neighborhood safety.
About $214 million is appropriated to the Fire and Police departments, including academies that keep pace with attrition in both departments, upgrading bunker gear for firefighters and the first year of operating funding for the new police records management system.
The budget includes funding for satisfactory performance increases for every qualifying City employee, subject to the collective bargaining process.
The budget will expand the Community Response Team’s mobile health crisis response from three to five days per week. The budget will also allow for the hiring of civilian Clinical Services Coordinator to help the CRT team address the root causes of mental health crisis. This will improve our ability to effectively assist people suffering a mental health emergency and reduce their future reliance on 911 for services.
The Council has continued its work on the Equality Indicators Initiative to improve transparency, share information and find potential solutions to items highlighted in the report’s theme of justice. As a result of this work and in partnership with the administration, the budget funds the establishment of a municipal court liaison to increase customer service levels, greet visitors to Municipal Court, engage community members, help them navigate Municipal Court processes and connect them with resources. There is also funding for a text message alert system to remind people of upcoming court appearances. This has been proven to improve the rate of court appearances – something that is important in reducing incarceration for non-violent offenses.
The Equality Indicators Report is a partnership between the City of Tulsa and the Community Service Council to produce an annual report which uses data to establish a statistical baseline for understanding inequity in Tulsa. More information is available here: http://tulsacouncil.org/resources/council-equality-indicators-initiative/.
The approved Fiscal Year 2021- 2022 budget will begin July 1. See more information about the budget here: cityoftulsa.org/budget.