City to discuss 2014 budget, property taxes

The Austin City Council will further discuss the city’s budget and proposed tax levy for next year at its upcoming meeting Monday.

The council considered a 1.25 percent decrease in property taxes — about $52,000 overall — at its last council meeting. In addition, the council proposed setting aside about $114,000 for a new police officer and funding for the Development Corporation of Austin next year, and would make up the difference through cuts to signage, a job evaluation process, a water fountain at the city dog park and savings from radio equipment purchased for the Law Enforcement Center.

While the city is set to receive an extra $700,000 from Local Government Aid next year, that will likely be tied up in employee wage increases, a new police radio tower, capital projects and non-state funded street projects, according to Finance Director Tom Dankert.

The city will also discuss potential raises for several city supervisors to make their wages comparable to similar positions in nearby cities. Under the proposal, Police Captain Dave McKichan would receive a $3,000 raise to make his salary about $81,700, Human Resources Director Tricia Wiechmann would receive a $3,000 raise to make her salary about $70,900, Park, Recreation and Forestry Director Kim Underwood would get a $6,000 raise to make her salary about $73,000, and MIS Administrator Don Tomlinson would receive an $8,000 raise to make his salary about $67,800.

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