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TipSheet: Travis County, 9.26.17

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

The Travis County Commissioners Court meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday. In the interest of space, we’ve decided not to post the entire agenda here. The County Clerk’s office hosts a copy at its website.

1. Receive comments regarding the FY18 Proposed Budget. (Judge Eckhardt)

12. Consider and take appropriate action on an order approving the Travis County Budget for FY18. (Judge Eckhardt)

13. Consider and take appropriate action on order approving setting the Travis County tax rates for the year beginning January 1, 2017: a. Total Maintenance and Operations Tax Rate (31.43 cents per $100 valuation) b. Total Debt Service Tax Rate (5.47 cents per $100 valuation) c. Total County Ad Valorem Tax Rate (36.90 cents per $100 valuation) (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: And just like that, the court is ready to take a vote on the county’s proposed $1.04 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2018. The Planning and Budget Office has posted detailed information about the budget – including the taxpayer impact statement – on the county website. If anything about it catches in your craw, today’s public hearing is your last chance to pipe up before the final vote.

15. Consider and take appropriate action on public input received and staff recommendations on Public Improvement District (PID) Policy, including Subchapter B, Affordable and Fair Housing Policy. (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: Not to jinx anything, but it appears that the PID policy could finally be on the verge of completion. Almost as soon as the court originally approved the policy last year, staff began tweaking it in order to bolster its affordable housing components. Based on the backup material, it appears the court is expected to vote on the final document today, but in county government it’s not a bad idea to expect the unexpected.

21. Consider and take appropriate action on the appointment of a Citizens Advisory Committee for the County’s Transit Development Plan. (Commissioners Travillion & Shea)

Monitor’s Take: Seems like there is always an opportunity to volunteer for a transit planning advisory committee, huh? This time around, the commissioners will appoint representatives to this ad hoc body in order to provide insights into the development of a transit plan that would provide service to unincorporated, urbanized parts of the county that fall outside of Capital Metro’s service area.

23. Consider and take appropriate action on a “Sidewalk Payment in Lieu” code amendment to Travis County Code Chapter 82, Travis County Development Regulations, and Title 30, Joint City–County Code. (Commissioners Travillion & Shea)

Monitor’s Take: On its face, this might seem like a questionable policy direction in 2017. After all, decades of not making sidewalks a mandatory part of development has put the city of Austin behind a billion-dollar eight ball in terms of safe pedestrian infrastructure. However, the proposed “sidewalk payment in lieu” that county staff has proposed here would go into a fund to build sidewalks in other parts of whatever precinct in which it’s collected. As far as interesting discussions go, we hereby declare this one to be the lock of the week.

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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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