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A WORD FROM THE MAYOR
It’s budget season for the city of Pearsall. City management and the council are working on the budget for next year which will extend from October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022. It will be finalized in August and approved in September. It takes roughly $12 million a year to run the city of Pearsall, which is responsible for: funding the police department, library, parks department, road department, sewer plant and sewer lines, four water plants and water lines, natural gas lines and gas distribution, a municipal judge, garbage collection, financial department, billing department, code enforcement, administration, and a few other things. We share the cost of the fire department and the public pool with other entities.
All cities in Texas have a two-tiered accounting system to keep their books. The utilities side or ‘business’ accounting and the government side or “general fund” accounting. Why they can’t be run together, I don’t know. Long ago some pointy headed bean counter figured it had to be separate, so that’s how we do it to this day. I like bean counters by the way. I am one (kinda). The utility side takes care of gas, sewer, water, and garbage. The government side handles everything else.
Funding for the utility side comes from the rates the city charges for the services. This is roughly $5 million, and it costs roughly $5 million to run this side. Funding for the government side comes from ad valorem taxes (your real estate taxes) and sales taxes. Annual ad valorem taxes come to $4 million and sales tax generates $2 million annually. We have other revenue sources that total about $1,000,000. Typically, these include fines, fees, permits, other taxes and grants.
Our debt payments are made by a combination of rate revenue and ad valorem taxes, and we pay roughly $1.9 million annually on debt of $15 million. The budget process is one of managing expenses, revenue and debt; estimating the needs of the city, and providing for our ability to supply all the services mentioned above both today, tomorrow and in the years to come.
More to follow.
God Bless the City of Pearsall, the County of Frio, the State of Texas, the United States of America and You.
Ben T. Briscoe