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
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.