On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, voters in the City of Austin approved Proposition B. See the 2020 Bond webpage for more information as projects through this bond move forward. Continue reading for more information about the proposition as proposed in Fall 2020.
Proposition B: $460M in voter-approved general obligation bonds for transportation infrastructure including sidewalks, transportation-related bikeways, urban trails, transportation safety projects (Vision Zero), safe routes to school and substandard streets.
Proposition B will provide $460 million in property tax-supported general obligation bonds for transportation improvements for the projects and programs listed below.
- See the Proposition B Contract with Voters here (Council Resolution No. 20200812-011).
- See the Proposition B Election Ordinance here.
The Proposition appeared on the official ballot in substantially the following form, and the ballot was prepared to permit voting "for" or "against" the Proposition:
"The issuance of $460,000,000 in tax supported general obligation bonds and notes for planning, constructing, reconstructing, and improving sidewalks, urban trails, bikeways, bridges, roads, streets, intersections, and related utility and drainage infrastructure for the roads and streets; improving traffic signal synchronization and communications and control systems and acquiring and installing traffic signals and related technology to implement traffic safety and traffic fatality reduction strategies; and acquiring land and interests in land and property necessary to do so; and the levy of a tax sufficient to pay for the bonds and notes."
Projects and Programs
Sidewalks: $80 million
Funding for construction and rehabilitation of high and very high priority sidewalk segments and elimination of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) barriers and gaps in the sidewalk system. Funding priorities for new and rehabilitated sidewalk projects follow the Sidewalk and ADA Transition Plan. This funding would provide:
$50 million for new sidewalks. This funding would construct approximately 78 miles of new sidewalks, or 20% of the locations targeted in the Sidewalk and ADA Transition Plan. Funding would help address very high and high priority sidewalks within ¼ mile of all identified schools, bus stops, and parks, as well as sidewalks on both sides of arterial and collector streets and one side of residential streets.
$30 million for rehabilitation of existing sidewalks, which would be applied toward achieving 95% functionality for very high and high priority sidewalks and 55% functionality for the citywide sidewalk network. This funding would rehabilitate about 20% of the locations targeted in the Sidewalk and ADA Transition Plan.
Urban Trails: $80 million
Funding for transportation-related Urban Trails. This includes constructing Tier I urban trails, identifying routes and developing designs for Tier II urban trails, and connections to existing transportation infrastructure. It also includes designing and constructing trail connections that overcome barriers within our active transportation network within either tier. This funding would construct approximately 30% of the Tier 1 Urban Trail Network.
Bikeways: $40 million
Funding for transportation-related Bikeways. Prioritized projects would follow the Austin Bicycle Plan’s All Ages and Abilities Bicycle Network (AAA Bicycle Network), which was updated in the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan Bicycle Priority Network. This funding would achieve 70% of the on-street AAA Bicycle Network.
Safety/Vision Zero: $65 million
Funding for Safety/Vision Zero, including projects that reduce conflicts and improve safety for all road users through major roadway reconstruction and rapid implementation of low-cost, high-impact projects. This funding would address:
- Intersection reconstruction projects at an estimated 25 major intersections.
- Speed mitigation projects on approximately 70 street segments.
- System-wide pedestrian crossing projects.
- A variety of rapid response projects on the High-Injury Network.
Safe Routes to School: $20 million
Funding to implement projects listed in Safe Routes to School Infrastructure Reports, which identify more than 4,000 potential projects to improve safety for elementary and middle school students walking or bicycling to and from school. This funding would address about 8% of the high and very high priority Safe Routes to School projects citywide.
Local Transit Enhancement Program: $19 million
Funding for the Local Transit Enhancement Program, including projects not delivered by Project Connect. Funding could be used for transit projects to address reliability, speed, and safety of local bus service and transit access, as well as funding for shared micromobility fleet expansion, first and last mile connections, and communications technology.
Neighborhood Partnering Program: $1 million
Funding for the Neighborhood Partnering Program, including active transportation mobility projects built through community-led partnerships. Neighborhood Partnering Program projects are community-initiated capital improvements and costs are proportionately matched with neighborhood support.
Substandard Streets: $53 million
Funding for improvements to publicly owned roadways that do not meet current City street standards for safety, mobility and drainage. Substandard street improvements would include:
- Funding for improvements to Johnny Morris Road as identified in the project’s Preliminary Engineering Report.
- At least $35 million for improvements to Ross Road as identified in the project’s Preliminary Engineering Report.
- Use of any remaining funding, after funding Johnny Morris Road and Ross Road, for improvements on Cooper Lane, Circle S Road, or other substandard streets identified through the 2016 Mobility Bond, as well as creating Preliminary Engineering Reports for Nuckols Crossing Road and Bradshaw Road.
Major Capital Improvements: $102 million
Funding for the following Major Capital Improvements, including:
- Longhorn Dam Bridge Multimodal Improvements
- Congress Avenue Urban Design Initiative
- Creation of a Preliminary Engineering Report for Barton Springs Road (Barton Boulevard to Lou Neff Road), in coordination with the Zilker Park Vision Plan process
- South Pleasant Valley Corridor Improvements
- Up to $5 million to build additional pedestrian and associated infrastructure as part of the 2016 Mobility Bond Corridor Mobility Programs on Slaughter Lane, North Lamar Boulevard, South Lamar Boulevard, Guadalupe Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Burnet Road and Riverside Drive.
Financial and Tax Bill Impact
The City of Austin is one of multiple taxing entities to which property owners pay taxes annually. The City of Austin's general obligation bonds, such as those considered for Proposition B, are backed by the City's levy of an ad valorem tax (property tax) to secure payment of the bonds.
Passage of Proposition B and issuance of the bonds and notes will increase the debt service tax rate portion of the City of Austin tax rate in future years. The 2020/2021 Fiscal Year debt service tax rate would not be impacted. Under current assumptions, it is anticipated that once issued, Proposition B requires a 2-cent increase to the debt service tax rate to support the debt service associated with bonds. Under current projections, the tax rate increase will be phased in over a few years, and the full 2 cent – and the tax bill increase – will not be fully levied until 2026. For the typical taxable (after exemptions) home value of approximately $325,000, voter approval of this measure would result in an additional $65 in taxes by 2026.
|Home Value||Anticipated Annual Impact||Anticipated Monthly Impact|
The estimated tax bill impact of passage of Proposition B and issuance of the proposed bonds and notes contained in this section is an approximation based on the Fiscal Year 2020/2021 property tax rate as well as assumptions about market and economic conditions and may be subject to change.
View a property’s taxable value:
- For properties in Travis County, see the Travis Central Appraisal District website.
- For properties in Williamson County, see the Williamson Central Appraisal District website.
- For properties in Hays County, see the Hays County Central Appraisal District website.
The anticipated annual tax bill impact is based on taxable home value. Taxable home value is the value of a home after property tax exemptions, such as the homestead exemption or senior exemption, have been applied.