Council brings tax levy to vote

Published 6:49 pm Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Austin City Council will vote to establish its proposed tax levy and budget for 2013 during a council meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday evening.

Council members voted last work session to bring a proposed 2013 budget and tax levy to the next council meeting. The budget, which essentially focused on the same services as the 2012 budget but added two new staff positions, requires a 4.6 percent increase to the tax levy.

Taking growth estimates and recent valuations of commercial properties into account, however, that number could drop to the point where residents see little or no increase in their own property taxes, Administrative Services Director Tom Dankert said in August.

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“The county assessors went through and revalued almost every commercial property in town,” he said. “There is a very good chance you won’t see a nickel increase in a residential property tax.”

While he said a substantial tax increase for residential properties is unlikely, Dankert stressed that estimate was not set in stone. If the city had stayed at the same valuations and population from last year, annual taxes on a home valued at $105,000 would have gone up by $12-15.

One of the new staff positions is a full-time administrative assistant for the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department. The other position is a part-time worker to handle zoning issues.

As part of the council’s vote, it will set Dec. 4 as the date for the truth in taxation hearing.

 Public hearings

The council will hold three public hearings at the meeting. The first will be on an assessment for an unpaid note balance at G&R Truck Wash. The other two concern dangerous dog declarations for a pitbull, which bit the leg and finger of a dog owners, and a lab/Australian sheppard mix, which has three reports of showing aggressive behavior toward humans and other animals .

 Other business

At the council meeting, the council will also decide whether to:

—authorize the combining of two wastewater treatment plant positions into one, and allow a replacement of the operations supervisor

—accept a bid for asbestos abatement at 312 Seventh Ave. SE.

—grant the Planning and Zoning Department the power to contract for the removal of junk and illegally stored vehicles at five Austin locations: 1003 Third Ave. NE, 107 Eighth St. NW, 905 First Ave. NW, 103 1/2 12th St. NE and 806 Fifth Ave. NE.