City council set to approve budget, levy

The Austin City Council is set to approve its 2016 budget and levy Monday night.

The vote is scheduled to come during its 5:30 p.m. meeting Monday night at the council chambers in City Hall, 500 Fourth Ave. NE.

New hires are one of the biggest changes pushing the city of Austin’s budget to $29.9 million in 2016.

The Austin City Council held its truth in taxation meeting Tuesday at City Hall to discuss its budget and a $4.9 million tax levy, which is an increase of $575,000.

Director of Administrative Services Tom Dankert noted much of the increase will go toward hiring a new police officer, a new detective, a Jay C. Hormel Nature Center employee and a new parks and recreation department worker with the levy increase to bring the total to about 143 city employees.

City staff would hire the nature center and parks employees midway through 2016 to save money.

Looking over tax statements, Dankert told the council that average homes could see an increase of close to $30 on their tax statements, but that often depends on value changes and the overall home value.

“You’re probably in the $30 range for the average homeowner, and for that you’re primarily getting two new officers, another parks and recreation person and a nature center help,” Dankert said.

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