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Mayor Parker Unveils Houston’s 2014 Budget; Focuses On Future

CICELY MITCHELL, CBS Houston
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Houston Mayor Annise Parker  (credit: Craig Barritt/Getty Images)

Houston Mayor Annise Parker (credit: Craig Barritt/Getty Images)

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HOUSTON (CBS Houston) On Tuesday, Houston Mayor Annise Parker unveiled a $4.9 billion proposed total city budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2013.

“The General Fund, or tax supported portion of the budget, is $2.2 billion,” added officials with the City of Houston. “The budget does not require a tax increase and maintains focus on Parker’s five main priorities: jobs and sustainable development, public safety, infrastructure, quality of life and fiscal responsibility.”

Mayor Parker said that the proposed budget is a building block when it comes to the future of Houston: “This budget proposal builds upon the progress of the last 3.5 years,” said Mayor Parker in a statement. “We’ve cut waste, made city departments more efficient and balanced every budget without raising taxes. We have gone from necessary budget cutbacks and staff layoffs to sustainable economic growth. This budget reflects sound and realistic fiscal policies necessary to fund the city services required for supporting that growth, while also allowing for investment in the future of our city. In making those decisions about the city’s future, we will utilize the same strong fiscal management that safely guided us through the economic downturn.”

According to Houston city authorities, the budget will have funds set aside for the restoration of services cut two years ago during the economic downturn. The budget will also maintain full funding of the “Rainy Day Fund”, which was achieved during 2013′s fiscal year.

There is also funding allocated for increased costs associated with employee pension, health benefits and pay increases mandated by the contracts with the city’s trio of employee unions.

The budget also outlines details of Mayor Parker’s priorities which include: jobs, public safety, infrastructure, quality of life and fiscal responsibility.

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