Hutto budget, tax rate proposed with public hearing date

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The city of Hutto on Sept. 6 proposed a property tax rate of $0.515171 per $100 valuation ahead of its final vote on next year’s budget.

With increasing property values—city figures show home values have risen 8.4 percent in the past year—Hutto officials estimate the city will collect $7.16 million in property tax revenue in the upcoming fiscal year, an increase of 4.93 percent from the 2017-18 budget.

City Council members voted Thursday to additionally move forward with the city’s proposed 2018-19 fiscal year budget, which outlines expected revenue and expenses for personnel, infrastructure projects, debt service costs, utility costs and more.

Hutto’s proposed 2018-19 budget outlines expenses to pay out $44.7 million—a 24 percent drop from last year’s expenses.

The greatest share of expenses in the general fund are slated to go to payroll and benefits for the city’s employees. That share of funds will increase approximately $2.7 million from FY 2017-18, according to the proposed budget, with the city creating several new positions to fill need.

If the budget is adopted, Hutto will hire two police officers, an administrative assistant and a criminal investigation sergeant to bolster the police department.

Funds are further set aside to add a building inspector, a warrant officer, two recreational programmer positions, a janitorial staff member, a building maintenance supervisor, and two streets and drainage technicians in the 2018-19 fiscal year.

Language in the budget outlines the need for additional city and police department staff, as the city found that it had the fewest full-time equivalent positions serving every 1,000 residents of any city in the surrounding area, including Round Rock, Pflugerville, Taylor, Cedar Park and more.

The 2018-19 budget outlines a combined $10.4 million for capital improvements and utility projects for water and wastewater improvements, Co-Op District improvements, drainage improvements and more.

The proposed budget did not include provisions for the bond initiatives on November’s ballot. Those bond propositions ultimately call for more than $100 million in infrastructure improvements, parks improvements and a public safety facility.

Thursday night’s meeting was the first public hearing on the proposed tax rate and budget. Hutto residents can provide public comment to council members Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. at Hutto City Hall. City Council will vote to adopt the proposed budget and tax rate at its Sept. 20 meeting.

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Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. He additionally worked with an investigative news organization where he reported on environmental topics and was a featured writer for Epicast Network, a Pittsburgh podcast company. Iain has now transitioned full-time into covering Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto.
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