Commissioners set the schedule for the budget process at a July 28 meeting, include laying out a timeline for adoption of the FY 2021 property tax rate. The tax rate—suggested in preliminary planning documents as $0.374359 per $100 valuation—will be set on Sept. 22, following a Sept. 15 public hearing.
The preliminary tax rate would represent a 3.6% increase compared to the current rate. Due to the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019, counties are not allowed to set the tax rate higher than 3.5% without a constituent vote unless a disaster declaration is in place. However, Travis County is currently under local, state and federal disaster declarations related to the coronavirus pandemic, allowing commissioners to set a higher rate without voter involvement if they so choose.
While Travis County's official budget may not be complete and available for public viewing until Sept. 25, according to a brief prepared by staff, preliminary budget documents are already available on the county's website. The current draft for the overall budget shows a $1.275 billion in revenue and other financing sources with an equal amount of expenditures. In the general fund specifically, the current draft shows $935.16 million in revenues and an equal number in expenditures.
According to staff who prepared the preliminary draft, budget consideration this year were significantly impacted by COVID-19, resulting in a budget $27.9 million less that projections made in February.