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Oklahoma City Council approves $1.56B budget for fiscal year 2019

Post Date:06/05/2018 12:38 PM

The Oklahoma City Council on Tuesday approved the City Manager’s proposed $1.56 billion budget for fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1.   

The General Fund budget, which pays for most day-to-day City services, ill be $460 million – a 10.8 percent increase from the current fiscal year’s amended budget.

Highlights in the budget:

  • 129 police officer and 57 firefighter positions included in the voter-approved Better Streets, Safer City program
  • Street improvements also funded by Better Streets, Safer City
  • EMBARK bus service on Sundays for the first time, and an additional night service route
  • MAPS 3 projects like the OKC Streetcar (starts service this year), Scissortail Park (under construction) and the convention center (starts construction this month)

The boost to the General Fund is largely from the permanent ¼ cent sales tax included in Better Streets, Safer City. Modest underlying growth in sales tax revenue has also returned, following a brief contraction.

The budget includes a net increase of 37 authorized City staff positions, up by 0.8 percent to a total of 4,804 employees.

“Fiscal year 2019 may prove to be an important bridge year as we have moved out of the regional recession and are in a time of growth,” said City Manager Jim Couch. “The next several years hold many significant milestones for the City as we deliver on the commitments to our residents to improve transportation options and the quality of our roads, enhance public safety, and put bold new projects like Scissortail Park, the Oklahoma City Streetcar, the new convention center and the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum into operation. We have strong momentum in Oklahoma City and we want to continue that into the future.”

Public safety makes up 64.1 percent of the general fund, followed by public services at 18.4 percent, culture and recreation at 9.4 percent and general government at 8.2 percent.

Sales tax is the largest single source of revenue for the City, making up 50.5 percent of operating revenue. For FY 2019, the City is projecting sales tax growth of 3 percent.

The budget was introduced May 1, and additional budget review sessions were May 15 and May 29.

The budget is guided by feedback received from a resident survey conducted by the City annually. Information from the survey also helps the City Council set priorities. Those priorities are:

  • Promote safe, secure and thriving neighborhoods.
  • Develop a transportation system that works for all residents.
  • Maintain strong financial management.
  • Enhance recreational opportunities and community wellness.
  • Engage a robust local economy.
  • Uphold high standards for all City services.
  • Continue to pursue social and criminal justice initiatives.

You can review the budget book online at okc.gov.

# # #

Media Contact
Kristy Yager
(405) 297-2550 / (405) 863-2831
kristy.yager@okc.gov

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