Hutto keeps tax rate flat in 2018-19 budget


Property owners in the city of Hutto will see their tax rates hold next year after Hutto City Council voted Thursday night to keep the property tax rate flat in the city’s 2018-19 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.

The budget by council outlines $44.7 million in expenses, a 24 percent decline from Hutto’s 2017-18 budget. City officials say the cuts in the budget are a result of long-term vision decisions made in previous years, such as the city’s decision to buy and operate its own water system.

“The budget is carefully crafted to enable a strategic and thoughtful response to the growing needs of the Hutto community,” Hutto City Manager Odis Jones said in a press release.

Funds supporting the Hutto Police Department account for the largest share of expenditures in the adopted budget. More than $5 million is outlined for the police department in the 2018-19 budget.

City administration expenditures come in at $3.09 million—the second largest expense in the General Fund budget.

The city of Hutto will hire several new positions to fill coverage gaps in city services, administration and public safety. According to the 2018-19 budget, the city of Hutto in 2017-18 had the lowest ratio of 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.

Hutto will hire two police officers, an administrative assistant and a criminal investigation sergeant to bolster the police department. The city will additionally bring on 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.

The 2018-19 city of Hutto budget outlines a combined $3.87 million for capital improvements and utility projects for road construction, Co-Op District improvements, drainage improvements and more.

In November, city of Hutto residents will vote on whether or not to approve $70 million in bond funds for streets and drainage infrastructure. The 2018-19 budget does not account for those potential bond funds.

The 2018-19 fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

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Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the reporter for Northwest Austin.
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