"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
Ellen Troxclair's latest constituent newsletter contains a DEVASTATING take-down of Marc Ott's budget proposal:
The wait is over. The City Manager has presented the 2015-2016 City of Austin budget. Unfortunately, it's not a pretty picture. The $3.5 billion budget includes a 6% increase in the General Fund as well as an increase in the tax rate, adding 347 new city staff positions and even surpassing the "affordability benchmark" established by the previous council. Although we passed a 6% homestead exemption earlier this year, the average homeowner will still owe $135 more next year in city taxes and fees. Of course, this does not include county or school district taxes, which could add to your total tax burden.Read the whole thing here.
With the city facing an affordability crisis and constituents desperately looking for a break in the soaring cost of living, this is simply unacceptable.
But, there's still hope. Over the next month, the council will have the opportunity to revise the tax rate, and the public will have the ability to weigh in at public hearings before the final budget is adopted.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Public hearings on the budget, tax rate, and utility rates will be held August 20th and 27th. Final adoption of the budget will happen September 8th-10th. If you can, please plan to attend the council meetings on these days to voice your input on the budget.