Cronk’s budget decreased the tax rate 0.63 cents to 43.85 cents per $100 valuation of a property; however the increase in median home value from $305,510 to $332,366 results in the overall property tax increase. Combined with increases in transportation user and Austin Energy fees, the total financial impact of the budget for the median homeowner with a 10 percent homestead exemption, would be $4,022—a $78.04 increase over last year.
Highlights of the budget includes funding for 33 new police officers, 12 of were approved but unfunded in the fiscal year 2017-18 budget. Cronk proposed allocating an additional $3.1 million to the city’s homelessness response and increased spending for the the city’s housing department by nearly $7 million in the city’s operating budget.
Cronk said the city’s adoption of last year’s Strategic Housing Blueprint was a “key driver” in increased housing spending.
City Council amendments are likely to come, however, before it takes a final vote on the budget on September 13.