The City Council voted 7-0 on second and final reading to approve the Fiscal 2017 budget and tax rate at its regular meeting Thursday, Sept. 8. First reading was Aug. 25.
The budget is crafted to answer two questions:
- Strategic Direction: Do the resources, projects and programs outlined in the document meet the near-term and long-term direction of the City Council and the community?
- Fiduciary Responsibility: Does the document, with its review of general economic and growth trends, revenues, expenditures and reserves meet the high standards of fiscal stewardship the City Council and community expect?
The Finance Department has prepared an updated one-page Budget Highlights document to assist the public in understanding and assessing the $323.5 million spending plan for Fiscal Year 2017, which begins Oct. 1, 2016, and ends Sept. 30, 2017. The document covers the tax rate, other rates (water, solid waste, etc.) and funding priorities.
The 2017 property tax rate is $0.425 per $100 of valuation.
- The tax rate is an increase of 3.07 cents over the effective rate of $0.39428.
- Total estimated taxable value for FY2017 is $11.3 billion (up 7.6 percent from FY2016 taxable valuation of $10.5 billion).
- The average home, valued at $240,179, will pay $1,021 per year in city property taxes, an increase of $74 per year or $6.15 per month.
- At this tax rate, the City still has one of the lowest rates in Central Texas, and is among the lowest rates in the state for medium-sized cities.
For a complete picture of what your property taxes fund, we’ve created this Computer-Aided Tax Simulator (CATS). By entering the value of your home, you can see exactly what you’ll pay in local property taxes, as well as how the City portion is allocated among our core services.
We have also put together a pair of infographics to communicate How Your Property Taxes Work, and how your Property Taxes Compare to Other Household Expenses.
The budget is designed to meet the demands of growth while maintaining our high level of services within the direction provided by the City Council. The highlights are summarized below:
- An additional Fire Code Inspector and an additional Assistant Fire Chief to ensure the Fire Department has the resources to provide fire and life safety support for the growing City population. The operations for two new fire stations on Red Bud Lane and Lisa Rae Drive, scheduled to open November 2016, is included.
- Seven new Police Officers and a Community Affairs Specialist civilian position
- The new tournament-class Multi-Purpose Field Complex is scheduled to be completed and open in May 2017. The proposal includes funds for operations and the five staff needed to run the new facility in Old Settlers Park.
- Three positions are proposed to keep up with the pace of development: a Building Plans Examiner, a Development Coordinator and a Construction Inspector.
- Streets and transportation needs are addressed by a pilot program to expand the City’s transit service by connecting it with the greater Austin area system.
There are no proposed increases in the City’s retail garbage, drainage, water or wastewater rates.
The City Council will held public hearings and voted on the proposed FY 2017 budget and property tax rate on the following dates:
- Aug. 18 — Public hearing at 5 p.m. on proposed property tax rate
- Aug. 25 — Public hearing at 7 p.m. and first reading vote on proposed property tax rate and budget
- Sept. 8 — Public hearing, second reading and final adoption at 7 p.m. of proposed property tax rate and budget
All meetings were in Council Chambers at City Hall, 221 E. Main St.