According to the fiscal year 2017-18 budget's first draft, average property-owning Austinites will see a $14.81 increase in monthly city taxes and fees. This is attributed in part to a tax rate increase to $0.4451 per $100 of a property’s assessed valuation—up from $0.4418 cents last year—and a spike in median assessed home value, which climbed to $305,510, up from $278,741 last year.
Although the city’s property tax rate increased, the average property owner will see an overall tax rate decrease from $2.2301 to $2.2189, as Travis County and the city’s community college tax rates received slight drops. However, the average homeowner will see an annual increase of $531 in overall property taxes—from $5,539 to $6,070—mostly attributed to a $319 increase from Austin ISD.
Other increases for the average taxpayer include a $3.22 increase in the monthly Austin Energy rates, an 85-cent increase in monthly Austin Resource Recovery fees and a 90-cent increase in monthly clean community fees. Austin Water, drainage utility and transportation user fees saw no increases.
Other budget highlights include:
- The general fund revenue is projected to eclipse $1 billion this year—$1.033 billion, up from $975.6 million last year.
- The tax rate saw its first increase since the 10-1 council took over in 2015—from $0.4418 to $0.4451.
- The city’s homestead exemption will remain at 8 percent this year after council decided not to increase it.
- Of the $58.9 million increase in the general fund, $20.9 million is owed to Development Services Department and $17.1 million is owed to the Austin Police Department.
- Permanent city employees will receive a minimum wage increase from $13.50 to $14 per hour. Temporary employee wages will remain at a minimum of $13.50.
- $2.4 million has been set aside for the CodeNEXT budget, bringing the total project cost to $9.1 million.
- $5 million has been left aside for council to spend on strategic outcome-based initiatives.