'Growth comes with a cost': City of Hutto weighs tax rate increase

In advance of finalizing a fiscal year 2019-20 budget, the city of Hutto is weighing an increase to its tax rate.

“It is the smart and financially responsible thing to do,” Michel Sorrell, the city of Hutto assistant city manager and chief financial officer, said in a July 12 release. “We are one of the fastest-growing cities in the state, and that growth comes with a cost.”

Funding growth

City officials cited Senate Bill 2—legislation approved by the state this year which limits the amount a city can increase its tax rate without voter approval—and the passage of the November 2018 bond as reasons behind the proposed tax rate increase.

“With this new limitation, we must revise our tax rate appropriately to provide the necessary funding for services like public safety, public works and upgrades to infrastructure needed to keep up with the growth we are experiencing and expecting,” Hutto Mayor Doug Gaul said in the release.

The November 2018 bond called for improvements to infrastructure, including roads and utilities; public safety, including police and judicial facilities; and parks.

“Voters supported a tax increase with the November 2018 bond election projects which will improve our streets and drainage, parks and public safety,” Gaul said. “We want to deliver these projects in the most cost-effective and responsible way possible while ensuring the long-term financial health of our city.”

Weighing the options

Sorrell presented three options to Hutto City Council on July 11:

Option 1 would increase the tax rate from $0.51 to $0.62 per $100 of taxable value. This option would provide enough funds to cover debt related to the November 2018 bond. However, the tax hike would not cover costs associated with the increase in services, such as staff to operate the new Justice Center, according to the release.

Option 2 would bump the tax rate to $0.64 per $100 of taxable value. This option covers debt related to the November 2018 bond and provides funding for additional staff to operate the new Justice Center.

Option 3 would hike the tax rate to the city’s current rollback rate of $0.68 per $100 of taxable value. This option covers debt related to the November 2018 bond, staffing needs, related vehicles and equipment.

Hutto City Council will conduct two public hearings on the proposed tax rate: Aug. 1 and Aug. 15. Council is expected to set the new tax rate and adopt the city's FY 2019-20 budget in September.


A candidate for interim city manager will be selected from the Texas Municipal League. (Courtesy city of Huttto)
Hutto seeks to hire interim city manager from Texas Municipal League

The city of Hutto will seek a retired city manager from the Texas Municipal League to serve as Hutto's interim city manager.

Michael Angelos Gourmet Foods prepares, processes and packages a line of Italian frozen dishes at a facility in Round Rock.
18 new jobs, $11M facility upgrades: Michael Angelos Gourmet Foods ups investment in Round Rock

Local manufacturer of frozen foods Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods plans to upgrade its facilities, hire additional staff with a $290,000 economic incentive boost.

(Courtesy Fotolia)
Engineering consulting firm BGE to bring at least 80 new jobs to Round Rock

BGE, Inc. will create at least 80 jobs in Round Rock with an average salary of $80,000, according to an economic development agreement approved by Round Rock City Council Dec. 5.

Nutty Brown Cafe & Amphitheatre is a south Austin music venue that first opened in July 2000. (Community Impact Staff)
Nutty Brown Amphitheatre gets 2-year extension to build $10M venue in Round Rock

A highly-anticipated outdoor music venue has delayed its Round Rock opening once again.

Louisiana Crab Shack is set to open two Round Rock locations on Gattis School Road and Palm Valley Boulevard. (Lacy Klasel/Community Impact Newspaper)
Louisiana Crab Shack to open 2 Round Rock locations

The Austin-based seafood chain currently has restaurants in Austin, Georgetown, Cedar Park and Waco.

Spirit of Texas' newly opened taproom features offerings such as a vanilla porter and India pale ale as well as amber and blonde ales. (Courtesy Shaun Siems)
Spirit of Texas expands Pflugerville distillery, adding brewery

Spirit of Texas officially opened its taproom Nov. 8.

Jason Ball, Round Rock Chamber president and CEO, discussed the vision and values of the chamber as well as local trends to watch in 2020. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
468 new jobs, $30.4M investment in 2019: Round Rock Chamber is 'strong,' CEO says in annual address

Round Rock Chamber President and CEO Jason Ball delivered the 2019 State of the Chamber address Dec. 3.

Travis County commissioners received their sixth update on the 2017-22 bond program at a Dec. 3 meeting. (Emma Freer/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis County 2017-22 bond program remains on track thanks to innovations

Fifty-six of the 60 projects included in the five-year bond program Travis County voters approved in 2017 are in active development, according to a Dec. 3 presentation made to the Commissioners Court.

The Williamson County seat is located in Georgetown at 710 S. Main St. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County sees one of the largest year-over-year employment increases in the U.S.

Williamson County continues to see its unemployment rate decline.

REAL ESTATE DATA: Homes on the market in Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto

Residential real estate listings added to the market between 11/5/19 and 11/26/19 were provided by the Austin Board of Realtors.

For a 10-month period, the city of Pflugerville had failed to adequately treat its water supply. City officials added that despite the treatment technique violations, the water had been and continues to be safe to drink. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Pflugerville officials seek to remedy city's water treatment failure

The city of Pflugerville failed to meet state-mandated water treatment levels from October 2018 through September 2019, excluding December 2018 and April 2019.

Back to top