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TipSheet: Travis County, 5.28.19

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 by Jack Craver

The Travis County Commissioners Court meets every Tuesday at 9 a.m. To help our readers stay informed, each week we offer a selection of interesting items from the voting session agenda. The entire agenda is available on the Travis County website.

8. Consider and take appropriate action on legislative matters, including: A. Update on legislative activities B. Recognition of key County staffers and their roles during the legislative session C. Modifications to the Priorities, Policy Positions, and Positions on Other Proposals sections of the Travis County Legislative Agenda (Commissioners Shea & Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: With the state legislative session coming to a close, it’s time for the Commissioners Court to assess the damage. By far the biggest thing is the property tax bill that has now passed the House and the Senate and awaits Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature. The bill will cap the year-over-year increase in property tax revenue that local governments can collect to 3.5 percent unless voters approve going above that limit. In contrast to the city of Austin, Travis County generally has not increased its tax revenue far above that limit in recent years, although it did go up 6 percent last year. Still, the county will be operating under much tighter limits that will likely force tough budgeting decisions and put existing programs at risk.

23. Consider and take appropriate action regarding Pickup, Capital Metro’s upcoming on-demand transit service. (Commissioner Travillion)

Monitor’s Take: County staff has determined that the existing circulator bus service in Manor, operated by Capital Area Rural Transportation System on behalf of Capital Metro, is not working out. CARTS has thus recommended eliminating the circulator service and replacing it with Pickup, Capital Metro’s ride-hailing service it piloted last year and plans to relaunch in four neighborhoods in Austin by fall. The service works just like any other ride-hailing app, except that rides are available only within the designated service area. The Manor pilot will include the city of Manor and some surrounding areas.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Travis County Commissioners Court: The legislative body for Travis County. It includes representatives from the four Travis County Precincts, as well as the County Judge. The County Judge serves as the chair of the Court.

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