City Manager Marc Ott presented a $3.1 billion proposed budget at Austin City Council's budget work session Aug. 1. The proposed budget includes a 2.18 cent increase to the tax rate, which would bring the tax rate to 50.29 cents per $100 in property valuation.
The budget does not call for any city employees to be laid off and, according to Ott, would mark the third consecutive year that staff recommended a tax rate below the state-defined rollback rate. The rollback rate is the rate at which residents would be able to circulate a petition to hold an election, allowing voters the chance to vote the increase down.
In addition to the tax rate increase, staff recommendations call for fee and rate increases that would cost what the city considers to be a typical citizen about $18 per month. Among those rate increases is a proposed increase to Austin Water Utility rates, which would cost the typical citizen $6.77 more per month. The proposed budget also calls for a $6.53 increase to the typical citizen's monthly Austin Energy bill and an increase to trash fees.
Should council adopt the budget as proposed, the city would fund an additional 22 police officers, six paramedics, use of the Town Lake Animal Center as an overflow facility, 10 full-time positions and two custodian positions for the Austin Public Library system, additional library materials, the 11 positions added to the Planning and Development Review earlier this year, 19 full-time positions for Code Compliance and an across-the-board 3 percent salary raise for city employees.
• Aug. 23 and 30: Council will hold public hearings for the budget, tax and utility rates.
• Sept. 10-12: Council is scheduled to adopt the budget.
• Oct. 1: The Fiscal Year 2013 budget will take effect.