Get Involved in the City Budget Process
It’s that time again: City budget time. Over the coming weeks and months, the city of Austin is hosting a series of meetings to get input on the city budget: What people want more or less of, what the city should be doing better or differently, and what the priorities should be in case of spending cuts. The City Council will approve the budget in August. In this week’s Changing Austin the city’s budget officer, Ed Van Eenoo, talks with KUT’s Matt Largey about why a tax rate increase is planned and what the alternatives would be.
There’s things we’re looking at that would not impact services, that would help contain our costs and avoid having to do a tax rate increase. And then there’s things we’re looking at that would absolutely impact service levels. And it’s getting harder to find that low-hanging fruit. We’ve been at this for about three years. We saw the issue three years ago and knew that we had a structural budget gap that had to be solved. Over the course of that three years we’ve cut over 125 vacant positions, we’ve renegotiated labor contracts, we’ve established a second tier of our retirement program.