This evening, the Tulsa City Council voted 8-0 to approve the Fiscal Year 2023-2024 budget with a total budget of about $982.6 million. Councilor Hall-Harper was absent for the vote.
This represents an increase of about 14 million, or about 1.4%, more than the FY23 original adopted budget.
The general fund budget is approximately $397.8 million, about 5% more than the FY23 original budget. The general fund is the principal operating fund of the City.
The City Council held two public hearings in May to get feedback from residents on the proposed budget.
"I am extremely grateful for all the hard work and care put into creating this budget. This budget will continue to help address the many needs of our community,” Council Vice-Chair Jeannie Cue said. “One thing that I am specifically excited about is the funds for pay increases for employees. Our City employees are extremely dedicated public servants and this increase helps show our gratitude for their service."
The Mayor presented his budget to the City Council on April 19. Councilors then reviews and discussed the Mayor’s proposal with a requirement to approve a final budget for the upcoming fiscal year at least seven days prior to June 30, which is the end of the City’s fiscal year.
Following discussion, the City Council worked with the Mayor and finance team to make the following changes to the budget proposed on April 19.
Municipal Courts: Increase and adjustment to Municipal Judge salaries
Economic Development: Additional funding to the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity (TAEO) to fund Financial Analyst and Retail Recruitment Support positions and increased operational costs
Finance: Increased funding to support a pre-hospital community healthcare study
Fire: Increased funding for medical supplies and services to support first responder program and $1,200,000 to purchase cardiac monitors for first responders
Parks: $25,000 to support matching grant opportunities for Chapman Green Park improvements
"It is always an honor to have the opportunity to take care of our hard-working City of Tulsa employees who keep our City safe, beautiful, and running smoothly to serve our residents,” Council Chair Crista Patrick said. “I am also very excited that we will be adding positions in the Animal Welfare Department in preparation for the new Animal Welfare facility that we will break ground on in the near future."
Next, the budget heads to the Mayor’s desk for signing. Fiscal Year 23-24 will begin July 1.
“I want to thank my colleagues on the Tulsa City Council for their collaborative policy development to create a budget that will help address public safety needs in our community, improve neighborhood conditions through the creation of the Department of City Experience and provide additional resources to help our most vulnerable neighbors in Tulsa,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “This budget also recognizes the important role of our employees and expands benefits for their dedicated service.”
Key items that the FY 24 budget would fund, noted previously in the Mayor’s proposed budget on April 19, include:
Employee Recruitment and Retention
Funds non-sworn pay increases.
Fully funds 10% Emergency Operating Reserve and continues contributions to Rainy Day Fund, both existing to protect service delivery and job stability.
Expands free counseling services for City Employees.
Improves Neighborhood Conditions, Customer Service, and Transportation Projects
Establishes new Department of City Experience (DCE), comprised of former Working In Neighborhoods (WIN) department, Mayor’s Office of Resilience & Equity, Tulsa Planning Office, and others.
Establishes Public Works Department and Department of Water & Sewer, abolishing old Engineering Services Department and consolidating those employees into other departments for more effective collaboration.
Creates new Citizen Services Advocate to serve as the customer service liaison for Council and Mayor referrals.
Funds multifamily housing inspection program in DCE and Fire, a recommendation of Habitability Working Group.
Honors two-year FOP contract.
Funds 12 positions in the Tulsa Police Department that will be staffed by civilians, which will free up more officers.
Funds next-generation body cameras and vehicle equipment upgrades.
Funds academies for the Tulsa Police and Fire departments.
Provides $200,000 for Tulsa Police Department recruitment efforts.
Provides $300,000 for continuation of $15,000 stipend for Tulsa Police Officer sign-on bonuses.
Increases IT support for Real Time Information Center.
Funds six additional 911 call takers.
Provides $3.3 million in capital enhancements for the Tulsa Fire Department.
Funds Emergency Medical Response Survey as identified by Pre-Hospital Task Force.
Utility Rate Adjustments
City of Tulsa utility rates are adjusted yearly based on the cost of providing service. Proposed rate increases for City utilities include 3% for water and 4% for sewer. Through deliberate and continued efforts over the last 15 years, these utilities have been brought in line with the yearly cost of service. The City’s stormwater system is in the process of reaching this goal, and is recommended for an 8.5% increase. Tulsa’s trash system also needs a multi-year readjustment of rates after going a decade without any increases. Last year, trash went through a competitive bidding process to establish the new market rate, and in line with the multi-year readjustment process, the recommendation in this budget is a 16% increase. The typical household should expect to see an overall utility rate increase of about $6.45 per month starting with October bills.
Funds Mental Health Coordinator position as recommended by the Housing, Homelessness, and Mental Health Task Force.
Tulsa Animal Welfare
Funds two additional Animal Control Officers, one additional Veterinary Technician, and one new Outreach Coordinator.
An enacted fiscal year budget is the City’s financial blueprint, or spending plan, for the year. However, it is a plan that changes almost weekly through appropriations and other measures. The City Council must approve any change that totals more than $100,000. These changes will appear on the Council’s regular business agenda for review and vote. The Council provides avenues for public input on all items before voting and residents are welcome to contact their City Councilor directly on any issue. Contact information can be found here: https://www.tulsacouncil.org/contact
The full version of the Mayor’s proposed FY24 budget, as of April 19, is available for online viewing now at the following link. The final version of the budget will be posted at this link when available: https://www.cityoftulsa.org/government/departments/finance/financial-reports/city-budget/fy-2023-24-proposed-budget/