Note: This is the first in a series of posts about the proposed 2021 budget and tax rate.
With so much still unknown about the impact of COVID-19 on the local economy, planning for the fiscal 2021 City budget has been less complicated than usual. There are no new programs included in the budget, and the current proposed spending plan is $26 million less than the original 2020 budget.
The proposed $418.7 million budget maintains the service levels our citizens have come to expect, and continues to fund our five-year transportation improvement program that will improve traffic flows on key corridors like University Boulevard and Gattis School Road.
Because of the City’s long-term strategic planning and conservative fiscal policies, Round Rock is well-positioned to endure a slumping economy while continuing to move forward on key infrastructure projects. We are preparing to recover from the pandemic from a position of fiscal strength.
“Lately, it seems like the only constant is change,” City Manager Laurie Hadley stated in her introduction to the proposed budget. “There is a lot going on in the world, and I am always impressed by our organization’s ability to keep things moving forward no matter the challenges we face.”
The roadway improvements continue apace because the City Council approved a second round of funding for the Driving Progress program this April. The City took advantage of below market interest rates to keep the 5-year, $240 million program moving forward. The $30 million borrowed will require a slight property tax increase.
The spending plan will continue to drive results on the City Council’s six strategic priorities:
- Financially Sound City Providing High Value Services
- City Infrastructure: Today and Tomorrow
- The Sports Capital of Texas for Tourism and Residents
- Great Community to Live
- Authentic Downtown – Exciting Community Destination
- Sustainable Neighborhoods – Old and New
In future posts, we’ll dive deeper into how we’re staying on track with those strategic priorities, as well as a breakdown of the proposed tax rate, the importance of sales tax and shopping local to our budget, the funding plan for transportation improvements, and major community improvement projects.