Central Health seeks commmunity input on FY 2019 budget and tax rate

On July 31, Travis County residents have their first opportunity to provide input on the first draft of the Fiscal Year 2019 budget and property tax rate for Central Health, the county’s health care district.

The current draft budget, which was presented by Central Health’s budget and finance committee to its board of managers on July 25 proposes a tax rate of 10.3742 cents per $100 valuation, which is a decrease from the FY 2018 rate of 10.7385 cents.

This reduced FY 2019 tax rate would still result in an average increase in taxes paid to the health care district by Travis County residents because the average taxable home value has increased by over $20,000 in the last year, according to the committee’s presentation. Under the proposed tax rate, an average tax bill would increase by $10.82.

Prior to final approval in September, the draft budget and proposed rate are subject to change based on public input and deliberation among the board of managers and Travis County Commissioners.

One of the main goals of the draft budget includes “developing and executing a health care delivery strategy based on people and place,” according to the presentation. In 2018, increasing access to care in Travis County east of US 183 as well as smaller, more concentrated areas of need in western Travis County, were areas of focus among board members as well as community activists.

Other goals outlined in the draft budget include implementing a patient-focused health care system and forming a sustainable financial strategy through 2024.

The July 31 public input meeting will be held at 1111 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Central Health will present an updated draft of the budget at two public hearings Aug. 29 and Sept. 5. It will undergo final approval from Central Health and Travis County Commissioner’s Court in mid-September.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.