“This is going to be a very lean, mean budget, and there’s not a lot [of flexibility] in here,” Mayor Linda Anthony said during a July 8 City Council meeting.
Following coronavirus closures, the city has experienced a drop in revenue due to decreases in sales tax, mixed-beverage taxes and permit fees, according to City Administrator Travis Askey.
In May, officials voted on a budget amendment to reflect a net change decrease of $401,278 on the 2019-20 general fund balance. Moving into the next fiscal year, Anthony confirmed conditions may not immediately stabilize.
“We’re really looking at a very flat, very conservative [budget],” Askey said. “We’re just kind of, you know, hunkering down.”
The proposed budget includes a potential 1.26% ad valorem tax rate increase, which, if approved, would bring the rate to $0.0723 per $100 of assessed valuation.
Askey noted the city is still awaiting property valuation data from the Travis Central Appraisal District, and officials will begin more in-depth budget discussions in July.
Officials also approved the official budget and tax rate calendar for FY 2020-21 during the July 8 meeting.
Anthony, Askey and Finance Officer Vonda Ragsdale will draft the proposed budget, which will be presented at the July 22 City Council meeting.
The approved budget calendar is as follows:
July 8: Council will discuss and consider action regarding preparation of the preliminary FY 2020-21 budget.
July 15: Askey and Ragsdale will meet with city departments to discuss the budget.
July 16: Askey and Ragsdale will meet with Anthony to draft the budget.
July 22: Anthony will present the proposed budget to council.
July 25: Deadline for Travis Central Appraisal District to release estimated appraisals
Aug. 12: Council will continue budget discussions.
Aug 13: City will publish public hearing on proposed property tax rate and budget.
Aug. 26: City will hold budget and property tax rate hearing.
Sep. 9: Council will adopt the FY 2020-21 budget and property tax rate.
Sept. 23: Last day to adopt the budget if necessary