Rollingwood 2020-21 budget features tax rate increase, police retention initiative

Rollingwood City Council met virtually Sept. 16 to adopt the fiscal year 2020-21 budget. (Courtesy city of Rollingwood)
Rollingwood City Council met virtually Sept. 16 to adopt the fiscal year 2020-21 budget. (Courtesy city of Rollingwood)

Rollingwood City Council met virtually Sept. 16 to adopt the fiscal year 2020-21 budget. (Courtesy city of Rollingwood)

Rollingwood City Council on Sept. 16 adopted the fiscal year 2020-21 budget, which features a $0.0281 tax rate increase and new employee retention initiatives.

Council approved a $1.56 million total budget, a $36,454.55 increase from the current fiscal year.

Following deliberations during the virtual meeting, council approved a voter-approval tax rate of $0.2369 per $100 of valuation. The 3.5% increase would provide the city with an additional $78,543 in revenue.

According to city staff, a homeowner’s average annual cost for city property taxes in Rollingwood will be approximately $3,236an increase of $384 from the current fiscal year.

“It’s not the desire of anybody on this council ... to raise taxes,” Mayor Michael Dyson said. “But there is a tremendous amount of outside forces that unfortunately are going to pressure us this next fiscal year.”

Rollingwood and neighboring cities are anticipating a continued reduction in sales tax revenue as the result of the coronavirus pandemic. The city anticipates $500,000 in sales tax revenue in FY 2020-21—resulting in a $107,172.71 dip in projected income from sales tax in the current fiscal year.

Council Member Amy Pattillo also noted unforeseen events have hurt city revenue. She gave the Travis Central Appraisal District’s decision not to appraise residential properties this year as an example. Appraised values would have probably increased, which would have added to the city’s property tax revenue.

Included in the FY 2020-21 budget are new employee retention programs designed to retain city staff and police officers.

Council approved a police retention incentive program to bring police department compensation in line with surrounding agencies, according to city information. The annual cost of the program was projected at $54,835.

The budget also included a $31,200 allocation of funds for reserve officer pay. Reserve officers, which are generally retired police officers, can assist the Rollingwood Police Department in the event of temporary department vacancies.

We work hard to make sure that our PD was where our community expected and wanted it to be,” Dyson said. “I think it’s doing the right thing to make sure they continue to have the tools to maintain the PD that Chief [Jason] Brady has built and that I’m sure we’re all very proud of at this point.”

A $46,800 administrative retention initiative passed 3-2 with Council Members Sara Hutston choosing to abstain and Buck Shapiro voting against. The budget allocation will fund salary bumps and title changes for staff members, including City Secretary Ashley Wayman, in an effort to meet industry compensation ranges.

All city staff will also see a 2% cost-of-living adjustment in the next fiscal year, which will cost the city $28,553.

By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


Student wearing face mask
Masks to be optional at Eanes ISD beginning June 1

Face coverings have been mandatory on campus at Eanes ISD and surroundings districts since students returned to in-person learning in the fall.

Chili’s Grill & Bar sign
Chili's Grill & Bar opens newest Austin restaurant in Four Points area

This Chili’s location offers curbside pickup service, delivery through Doordash and alcohol to go.

Austin's phased process for moving people experiencing homelessness out of unregulated encampments will roll out through the summer. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
City officials detail homeless education and enforcement plan with Proposition B ordinances now in effect

The process that will eventually remove the city's homeless encampment begins this month with outreach and warnings and will stretch until late summer with full enforcement.

Residents will have until May 2023 to obtain a Real ID. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
US Department of Homeland Security extends Real ID deadline until 2023

Drivers will have until May 2023 to get the Real ID, which will be required for adults boarding a U.S. commercial flight.

Simply Pho House will open in a new Hill Country Galleria location this summer. (Courtesy Giant Noise Public Relations)
Simply Pho House to open in Hill Country Galleria this summer

The Asian Fusion restaurant opened in 2014 to offer a variety of Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese dishes.

Susan Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. (Courtesy American Medical Association)
'I am convinced we will beat COVID': American Medical Association President Susan Bailey discusses vaccine successes, myths, challenges

Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. Much of the organization's focus during that time has been on vaccine transparency and distribution.

Under the city of Austin's phased enforcement plan released May 10, citations at public encampments will begin in mid-June to be followed by arrests and clearances in July as necessary. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin's homeless ordinances back on books May 11, but arrests, camp clearings won't start until July

Austin announced a "phased process" to introduce Proposition B ordinances beginning with one month of outreach followed by one month of warnings and citations before arrests or clearances begin as necessary.

Pfizer vaccines could become available to kids 12 and up as soon as next week. (Courtesy Adobe Stock/Graphic by Justin Howell/Community Impact Newspaper)
FDA expands Pfizer vaccine authorization to children ages 12 to 15 years old

This is the first time people under the age of 16 have been granted access to a coronavirus vaccine.

Butler Park Pitch & Putt reopened to the public in April. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Butler Park Pitch & Putt reopens in Austin; turf fields open in Pflugerville and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Heather Sánchez
Leander ISD hires new area superintendent

Heather Sánchez will be a new area superintendent at Leander ISD.