City Manager Marc Ott presented the City’s proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget to City Council members today, Aug. 1. The balanced $3.3 billion budget meets critical needs in public safety, health, infrastructure, development and other community priorities.
Over the next few weeks, the City Council will review and possibly alter the proposed budget before final approval in September. The Fiscal 2013 budget was approximately $3.1 billion.
The proposed budget includes funding for:
- An additional 47 police officers.
- The Transportation and Public Works departments for road extension projects, sidewalk and bikeway improvements, and I-35 corridor improvements.
- Twenty-nine full-time inspectors, plan reviewers, and other professional and development-related support staff across three departments to assist in planning, permitting and inspection efforts.
- A 1.5 percent salary increase for all civilian City employees and sworn APD staff.
- Twenty-six new full-time positions for the Parks and Recreation Department: 20 to assist in operating and maintaining the five City-owned cemetery sites, five grounds and maintenance positions for area parks, and one program coordinator position at a recreation center facility.
Under the proposed budget, the property tax rate would increase to 51.14 cents per $100 in property valuation from 50.29 cents.
If approved, the tax bill for the projected median-priced home is estimated to be $947 per year, or $78.90 per month. This is an approximate increase of $4.17 per month for the owner of a median-priced home, estimated at $185,000.
In 2012, Austin Energy initiated its first base rate increase and rate restructuring in more than 18 years. There are no base rate increases anticipated with the proposed budget. However, other necessary funding requirements will result in an approximate $3.46 increase for the typical Austin Energy user.
The Austin Water Utility plans to implement a system-wide rate increase effective Nov. 1, 2013. Residential customers would see an average monthly increase of $5.06.
Austin Resource Recovery and the Code Compliance departments are proposing an increase in the Clean Community Fee of $0.85 per month for residential customers and $1.70 per month for commercial customers.
Today's budget presentation can be found here.
Departmental budget presentations will begin Aug. 14, with public hearings Aug. 22 and 29. The Council is scheduled to approve the budget Sept. 9-11. The budget goes into effect Oct. 1.
Throughout spring, the City’s Budget Office and departmental staff implemented a number of community engagement efforts. Staff received valuable input from residents on their budget priorities with the hosting of about 20 community meetings. The launch of Budget in a Box, a new interactive tool for residents to provide feedback, proved very successful with more than 500 total participants taking part in either the hard copy or online exercise.
This year the City will also distribute a bilingual budget highlights flier designed to inform residents on the major components of the proposed budget. The flier will soon be available online. The flier will also be available at branch libraries and within the Austin Chronicle beginning Thursday, Aug. 15. The La Prensa newspaper will publish the flier Aug. 22.
A copy of the City’s budget community engagement report can be found here.
The proposed budget, along with other budget information, may be found at www.austintexas.gov/finance.