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Fort Worth’s budget process kicks off with focus on community input

5 May 2024 10:25 PM | Stacy Hollingsworth (Administrator)

After launching the annual budget process in March – earlier than in past years – City staff has a good start on preparing a recommended Fiscal Year 2025 General Fund budget, the budget that covers police and fire services, community services and capital projects, among other things.

By the numbers: For now, staff is projecting a $1.049 billion budget, a $35 million, or 3.5% increase, from FY24. Competitive salaries to retain employees and higher insurance costs are contributing to the increase.

  • Certainly, adjustments will be made – no tax rate is set yet, and staff and council will need to agree how to best spend monies.

This year, staff and department leaders are leaning more heavily on a budget process called priority-based budgeting. Last year, three departments used this method and served as a pilot.

Now, nine departments are using this method, by which some 323 programs are undergoing peer reviews to determine how they align with the City Council’s goals and priorities. The remaining departments will be phased in over the next two budget cycles.

Priority-based budgeting augments traditional budgeting with new vantage points to make data-driven decisions, FWLab Director Christianne Simmons said. The method also means the City Council’s priorities and goals are aligned with recommended department budgets.

City Council FY25 budget priorities include economic development, community investment, community safety, infrastructure and responsible growth.

  • Several council sessions will be held to go over budget recommendations and status.
  • City departments turn in preliminary budgets in May.

Starting earlier on the budget means City staff will begin asking residents to add their thoughts on the budget earlier as well. That will be done at a series of open houses starting in May, on Connect Fort Worth, a new online engagement platform, and other avenues.

Join City staff and departments at these open houses to provide feedback about the FY25 budget:

We also encourage residents to “Help us STEER the budget” by providing feedback and taking pictures with our mascot, Molly. Submit feedback and pictures via the website, the MyFW app or on Facebook. @fortworthmolly


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