Austin City Council approves 2016-17 budget

AUSTIN - The Austin City Council on Wednesday adopted a roughly $3.7 billion budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

The city said the property tax rate under the new budget is 44.18 cents per $100 property valuation, down from the previous budget’s rate of 45.89 cents. Even with the reduction, residents can expect to pay more due to the increased values of homes.

The approved budget also includes funding for the following:

  • An increased homestead exemption for seniors over 65 and disabled residents to $82,500;
  • $4.2 million for first year implementation of an organics collection program;
  • 38 new positions added for expedited permit review, expanding review and inspection capabilities, and to support drainage inspections and forestry programs;
  • An additional 12 police officers and 21 new Police Department civilian staff;
  • $1.1 million for preserving and creating reasonably priced housing in city of Austin;
  • 52 new sworn positions to complete transition to EMS 42-hour work week;
  • A 2 percent performance based pay increase for all non-sworn City employees beginning in late December;
  • A 2 percent pay increase for sworn Police, Fire and EMS;
  • $2.8 million in funding for opening the new Central Library;
  • $0.6 million for Housing First Permanent Supportive Housing to reduce homelessness;
  • $350,000 in funding for a new Residents Advocacy Project to assist residents on issues related to fair and safe housing.

A typical residential Austin Energy customer, defined by the city as using 895 kilowatt-hours per month, will also see a $3.68 reduction in their monthly bill. Austin Water residential customers will see a typical monthly increase of $2.95.

The city estimated the total monthly impact for a “typical rate payer” would be an increase of $7.21.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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