City Council moves budget, levy forward

Published 6:26 pm Friday, December 10, 2021

The Austin City Council Wednesday night approved a resolution advancing the proposed 2022 tax levy and budget.

The City Council will finalize a 2022 budget of $38,949,000 and a tax levy increase of 6.78% at $7,940,000 at its Dec. 20 meeting in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.

At the same time, the council also advanced a resolution that would let Austin Utilities pay off the rest of its newer facilities with funds it has on hand.

When asked by an attendee to Wednesday night’s meeting if he was happy with the numbers advancing for finalization, Mayor Steve King said he was, especially when comparing Austin to other communities with populations over 5,000 people.

“Austin has consistently been in the bottom 10,” King answered.

The 6.78% rise in the levy was largely pushed by the city’s comp and class study that sought to bring salaries of city employees closer in line to that of other communities.

The implementation of the study added $1,125,000 to the tax levy, a rise of 15%.

Breaking down the levy reveals:

• General Fund: $5,420,466 (covers a portion of daily city operations including fire, police, streets, administration and Parks and Recreation);

• Capital Improvement Revolving Fund: $1,416,000 (helps cover road and trail construction);

• Library Fund: $1,053,534 (covers a portion of the daily operating expenses of the Austin Public Library); and

• Port Authority: $50,000 (helps cover economic development endeavors).

According to Administrative Services Director Tom Dankert the City showed that of the $38,949,960 in proposed revenue sources for 2022, the largest chunk (26%, $10,147,836) comes from intergovernmental revenue and includes around $8 million in Local Government Aid from the state, though just how much that will be this year is known for sure as the state is projecting a $7 billion surplus.