The meeting marked the first of two public hearings regarding the city's proposed property tax rate for fiscal year 2019-20, listed at $0.631 per $100 of taxable value. One resident, Tina Baudier, spoke during the outlined public hearing period.
Baudier addressed Council alongside her two children and expressed her concerns regarding a potential property tax rate increase. Baudier said the residents and families choosing to live in Hutto are the ones responsible for the city's prosperity and should not be penalized with increasing tax rates.
“Only difference in Hutto and Austin is y’all didn’t propose anything that someone can pitch a tent on your lawn,” Baudier said. "You're taxing people out of their homes."
The city updated its budget proposal for Council consideration Aug. 8, with a proposed sticker price of $78.9 million. Top-priority objectives of the updated proposal include public safety and infrastructure; funds for the city's historical preservation project, outlined in the city's initial July 26 proposal, were cut due to the reduced maximum property tax rate.
The proposed rate of $0.631 per $100 of taxable value includes the debt service increase for projects approved in the Nov. 2018 bond election. The four main areas of the proposed budget include the city’s general fund; utility fund; streets and drainage construction fund; and capital projects.
“We leverage good talent and we leverage what we do have, equipment- and resource-wise," said Hutto Chief Financial Officer Michel Sorrell during the Council's budget overview presentation.
Hutto City Council will host its second and final public hearing on its proposed property tax rate during a special meeting Aug. 22.