Higher Water Rates, No Raises Under Proposed Tulsa Budget

Residents would pay higher water and sewer bills and city employees won't get raises under a budget proposed today by Mayor Dewey Bartlett.

The Mayor presented the $711 million budget to the Tulsa City Council.

Mayor Bartlett said departments were asked to cut their budgets by 3 percent to make up for a decline in sales tax revenues and expiring grant money that help fund police and fire operations.

"The impact to serve levels will be minimal, but belt-tightening will require our employees to think more creatively about funding solutions," Bartlett said.

As part of the 3 percent cuts, employees will not get raises under the proposed budget.

The mayor's budget also calls for an increase in water and sewer rates to help fund improvements to utility infrastructure.

The budget also includes holding a fire and police academy. The academies will keep police and fire levels at their authorized levels by filling positions of police and firefighters who retire or leave. The mayor reiterated his call to dedicate a .167 cent sales tax to funding public safety.

"We can make some decisions now that will have a lasting impact on public safety in Tulsa over the years," Bartlett said.