Austin City Council to vote on budget this week

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by JESSICA VESS / KVUE News & Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @JessicaV_KVUE

KVUE.com

Posted on September 9, 2013 at 7:16 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 6:52 AM

AUSTIN -- Austin City Council members will meet and begin deliberating the budget for the fiscal year Monday.

City staff presented the council with a proposed budget worth $3.3 billion. Among the items are 47 new positions for the Austin Police Department.

The budget also included a property tax increase. The increase would mean a median priced home in Austin would see an increase in property taxes totaling $48.

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell opposed a property tax increase and asked staff to find savings elsewhere. In order to make up the difference, the council must cut approximately $7.3 million.

Staffers found $15.5 million in potential cuts, like eliminating fee waivers for city co-sponsored events such as South by Southwest. They also looked at cutting one percent from nearly every department’s budget.

Here is a list of the co-sponsored events and the fee waiver the City would have to pay if this option is approved:

  • South by Southwest: $553,427
  • Austin Farmer's Market: $184,053
  • Juneteeth: $58,440
  • Celebrate Texas: $15,018
  • Austin July 4th Concert: $45,875
  • Veterans' Day Parade: $16,584
  • Zilker Kite Festival $40,193
  • Viva la Vida Festival $13,675
  • MLK Jr. Day Parade: $7,235
  • Austin PRIDE Event $19,070
  • HOPE Farmer's Market: $17,160
  • Fiesta de Independencia: $20,199

TOTAL: $990,929

The council must review the potential savings and make a final decision on the budget by the end of the week. A vote could come Monday, but Saturday and Sunday are also designated days for budget deliberations.

Read the full report of suggested changes here.

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