State and federal law limits the ways in which city governments can generate revenue. So within those boundaries, the city of College Station is searching for other options. So how the city is trying to find a few extra dollars?
Back in June at the city council retreat, city staff was tasked with finding new ways to make the city money. The latest update to the council came in November.
"Once council gave us the authority to move forward, we have been moving very judiciously in order to try and respond to that priority they established," said Terry Childers, one of College Station's assistant city managers.
Three priorities were identified by staff. The first was a managed competition for concessions at city parks like Veterans. Also, studies are in the works on potential transportation user fees, and on the more-than-100 fees and charges in place currently.
"While eight percent of our general fund revenues generated from fees and charges, in other communities, those fees and charges for the general fund were 15 to 35 percent," Childers said.
College Station received input and information from 26 different Texas cities as they explore different options.
When it comes to transportation possibilities, the staff is exploring the idea of a sales tax for the more than $130 million worth of unfunded construction projects on the table. That tax -- likely no more than a penny -- would have to be approved by the voters, and would include exact language for what project that money would go towards.
"Our council has been very clear that they do not want to ask for additional sales tax authority and it gets blended into the overall city operating budget," Childers said.
So while any guesses on the look of the economic landscape in coming years would be premature, College Station is on the hunt for growing revenues for their growing community.
The council will likely hear the first of the various proposals on the new revenue possibilities by late March.