AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Austin City Council Tuesday afternoon adopted a $3.1 billion spending plan that will increases the property tax rate beginning Oct. 1.
The vote was 6-1, with Mayor Lee Leffingwell voting against the budget plan. He had asked for more budget cuts, but the idea was rejected.
The property tax rate will increase from 48.11 cents to 50.29 cents per $100 of property valuation. The tax bill for the projected median-priced home is estimated to be $897 per year or $74.75 per month. This is an approximate increase of $1.67 per month for the owner of a median-priced home, estimated at $178,327.
The approved budget includes funding for:
- An additional 22 police officers and six Emergency Medical Services paramedics.
- Wildfire mitigation including authorization for three positions in the Austin Fire Department to create a Wildfire Mitigation Division.
- A Short-Term Rental Program in the Code Compliance Department including three additional positions for the program.
- Operation of the Town Lake Animal Center as an overflow facility for the Austin Animal Center.
- Operations and maintenance, including staff members, for the Asian American Resource Center.
- Seed money for an innovation program to keep the City looking toward new ideas to improve service delivery.
- Additional rebates through Austin Energy's Solar Rebate Program.
- A 3 percent wage increase for all City employees.
City Council approved an electric rate plan on June 7, that includes an increase in Austin Energy's base rate; this will be the first increase in base rates since 1994. The average Austin Energy residential customer, who uses 1,000 Kwh per month, will see an increase of $6.53 per month.
Austin Water Utility retail customers will pay an additional $6.77 per month. Average customers use 7,727 gallons of water and 4,699 gallons of wastewater.
Austin Resource Recovery will implement a new rate structure to further encourage reducing waste and increasing recycling. Customers using smaller trash carts ¬(64 gallons or smaller) will pay a 16-cent per gallon fee. Those using the largest trash carts (¬96 gallons) ¬will pay 25 cents per gallon. A $9.50 standard bundled services fee will apply to all curbside customers.
The Clean Community Fee (formerly Anti-Litter Fee) will increase $1 a month for residential customers and $4.50 for commercial customers. This fee covers services from both Austin Resource Recovery and Code Compliance, including:
- Street and Boulevard Sweeping
- Litter Abatement
- Recycling Center
- Household Hazard Waste Facility
- Business Education and Outreach
- Resource Recovery Center
- Austin Reuse Centers
- Zero Waste Program Development
- Clean Austin
- Dead Animal Collection
- Code Compliance
Budget documents and presentations are online.
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