EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso City Council received an update on its financial report for 2019 Tuesday, which showed a $5.3 million surplus according to the City’s Chief Financial Officer.

The City claims this is the fifth year in a row the general fund ended the fiscal year with a surplus, resulting in $44.6 million in savings since 2016.

The surplus, of course, was generated with the help of higher property tax rates.

City staff recommended some of the excess funds be moved toward its fund balance.

“We want some of that to go into a budget stabilization fund that could help potentially offset future budget impacts related to the Senate Bill 2 issue which we’ll be dealing with next year,” said Robert Cortinas, Chief Financial Officer for the City of El Paso.

Senate Bill 2 will place limits when it comes to property tax rates in the coming year. City staff is also recommending investing some of the funds into equipment for its streets and maintenance department.

In addition to the surplus, Council authorized the city to refinance $94 million in old debt which is expected to yield approximately $17 million in savings according to the CFO’s office.

The City has completed 110 Quality of Life projects and has 32 more in design and another 16 ready for construction. Completed projects include; new El Paso Zoo exhibits, upgrades to libraries, and park improvements.