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Fully-Local • Non-Partisan • Public-Service Journalism
 

Budget

In one-time move, county restores funding to social service group

On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court granted a $200,000 funding request for one year from Asian Family Support Services of Austin. While the resolution was passed unanimously, several commissioners and lamented the lack of procedure of the motion, given…

Park rangers get funding for six additional staff members

For months, the Parks and Recreation Department has been pleading for additional park ranger staffing resources. Finally, the city has answered its prayers with $615,000 in increased funding for the department’s Park Ranger program. In a memo sent to Mayor Steve Adler and City…

AISD sets lowest tax rate in 20 years, prepares for challenges ahead

Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees ended this week’s voting meeting on a bold note, adopting the lowest property tax rate the district has seen in 20 years. In the 2022 fiscal year, taxpayers will pay $1.0617 per $100…

Transportation budget includes post-pandemic rebound in parking fees

The Transportation Department’s $152 million budget was made possible in part by a rebound in parking revenue after a steep decline caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which drastically reduced single-passenger vehicle use for much of 2020. In a presentation to…

Commissioners ponder putting millions into jail revamp

If the Sheriff’s Office gets its budget request granted, inmates in Travis County correctional facilities may soon be sporting radio-frequency identification wristbands to track their whereabouts within the jail at all times. According to the Sheriff’s Office, it intends to…

Commissioners approve the creation of Emergency Services jobs

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Commissioners Court, county budget chief Travis Gatlin delivered updates about the 2022 budget and made specific requests to finance staff positions from the 2021 budget. Additional budget hearings will continue later this week, where the court…

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Council funds guaranteed income pilot program

Joining the ranks of a handful of other cities interested in adopting some form of ongoing assistance for low-income residents, Austin has committed more than $1 million to study the creation of a guaranteed income program for the city’s most vulnerable…

Austin passes $4.5 billion budget, increases police budget per state law

Austin city leaders approved a new budget that boosts spending on policing and puts dollars toward public transit planning and housing. All told, City Council members OK’d a $4.5 billion budget Thursday evening, representing a 7 percent increase over the…

Last year Austin cut its police budget by millions. A new state law means it'll likely reverse that move this week.

The same day Austin City Council members voted to reduce the police budget by roughly $150 million, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pledged to make it so cities could never do it again. “Austin’s decision puts the brave men and women of the…

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City tax bills could go down for 2022

City Council’s decision to enact a 20 percent maximum homestead exemption will save the typical homeowner $33 on next year’s tax bill if Council members decide to go along with City Manager Spencer Cronk’s proposed 3.5 percent increase in the…

Designated campsite strategy remains in limbo 

On Thursday, City Council members had their most in-depth discussion about designated encampments for homeless people since voting unanimously to explore the strategy back in May. Still, much remains uncertain. Last week, Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison and Council Member…

Council sets maximum tax rate

City Council took the first step toward setting next year’s property tax rate by voting Thursday to designate the maximum tax rate for Fiscal Year 2021-22 at 55.42 cents per $100 valuation. On a vote of 9-2, they followed staff…

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