City Budget http://kut.org en City’s General Fund Ends Fiscal Year 2013 with $14 Million Surplus http://kut.org/post/city-s-general-fund-ends-fiscal-year-2013-14-million-surplus <p><em>This article is written by KUT's Austin City Hall reporting partner, the</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.austinmonitor.com/">Austin Monitor</a>&nbsp;(formerly&nbsp;In Fact Daily).&nbsp;</em></p><p>The <strong>City of Austin’s General Fund</strong> ended fiscal year 2013 with a $14.2 million surplus. That figure amounts to a roughly 1 percent variance from projections made by city staff.</p><p>Despite the positive figure, Austin’s <strong>Chief Financial Officer Elaine Hart</strong> told members of the Council’s <strong>Audit and Finance Committee</strong> Wednesday that management was not planning on coming forward with a mid-year budget adjustment.</p><p> Thu, 06 Feb 2014 14:26:18 +0000 Mike Kanin 9728 at http://kut.org City’s General Fund Ends Fiscal Year 2013 with $14 Million Surplus Austin Council Update: EMS Contract OK’d, Trails Kept Open 24 Hours, and an Airport Pet Hotel http://kut.org/post/austin-council-update-ems-contract-ok-d-trails-kept-open-24-hours-and-airport-pet-hotel <p><strong>Update: </strong>Austin City Council members unanimously approved a <strong>rental registration program </strong>early this morning (Items 11, 12).</p><p>Council members were considering two different proposals. One would have required the owners of rental property in certain areas of the city to register. But the proposal the council approved will require rental properties with multiple health and safety violations to be registered &ndash; no matter where the properties are located in the city.</p><p>The program requires properties on the registration list to be periodically inspected. Fri, 27 Sep 2013 13:26:56 +0000 KUT Staff 8808 at http://kut.org Austin Council Update: EMS Contract OK’d, Trails Kept Open 24 Hours, and an Airport Pet Hotel Austin City Budget Restores $1 Million for Youth Programs http://kut.org/post/austin-city-budget-restores-1-million-youth-programs <p></p><p>This week, the Austin City Council approved a $3.3 billion budget of for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts in October.</p><p>As part of the deal, they increased funding for youth programs by over $1 million. That includes an increase in the Austin School District afterschool program,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.austinisd.org/primetime">Prime Time</a>, which was started by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.austininterfaith.org/">Austin Interfaith&nbsp;</a>in the&nbsp;1990s.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 11 Sep 2013 20:21:01 +0000 Kate McGee 8653 at http://kut.org Austin City Budget Restores $1 Million for Youth Programs 2014 Austin City Budget Holds Line on Tax Rate (Update) http://kut.org/post/2014-austin-city-budget-holds-line-tax-rate-update <p><strong>Update</strong>: For the first time since 2007, the Austin City Council has voted to lower the city’s property tax rate. The council finalized the fiscal year 2014 budget this afternoon.</p><p>Granted, the tax rate hasn’t fallen by much: two-hundredths of a penny (from 50.29 to 50.27 cents) for every $100 dollars of valuation. For the owner of a $200,000 home, that amounts to a savings of 40 cents a year. Mayor Lee Leffingwell had pressed for a bigger cut.</p><p> Tue, 10 Sep 2013 19:23:15 +0000 Carrie Powell, Joy Diaz & Wells Dunbar 8629 at http://kut.org 2014 Austin City Budget Holds Line on Tax Rate (Update) How the Hyde Park Flag Store is Impacting Austin's City Budget http://kut.org/post/how-hyde-park-flag-store-impacting-austins-city-budget <p></p><p>The Austin City Council returns to the dais as 10 a.m. this morning to finalize the city's Fiscal Year 2014 budget.</p><p>Yesterday, <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/2014-austin-city-budget-holds-line-tax-rate-update">council members voted unanimously</a> to hold the line of property tax rates. They also spent most of the day funding initiatives that weren't in City Manager Marc Ott's <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/not-able-keep-taxes-fees-rise-austins-proposed-city-budget">initial budget proposal</a>.</p><p> Tue, 10 Sep 2013 15:00:00 +0000 Wells Dunbar 8643 at http://kut.org How the Hyde Park Flag Store is Impacting Austin's City Budget How Do Austin Property Taxes Compare Statewide? http://kut.org/post/how-do-austin-property-taxes-compare-statewide <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F106211483" width="100%"></iframe></p><p></p><p>Of the six largest cities in Texas, Austin is the one with the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tml.org/Surveys/pdfsurveys/2013taxndebt.pdf">lowest property tax rate</a>. But does that tell the whole story?</p><p> Mon, 19 Aug 2013 21:52:58 +0000 Joy Diaz 8508 at http://kut.org How Do Austin Property Taxes Compare Statewide? Budget Battle Over Austin Police: Does APD Have Enough Detectives? http://kut.org/post/budget-battle-over-austin-police-does-apd-have-enough-detectives <p></p><p>Every budget year, public safety – police, fire and EMS – take <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/745800-city-of-austin-2013-14-proposed-budget.html#document/p25">the biggest chunk of money</a> from the funds used to finance city services. Today, Austin City Council Member Bill Spelman asked if the city was getting a good return on its investment.</p><p>The Austin City Council is <a href="http://www.kutnews.org/post/not-able-keep-taxes-fees-rise-austins-proposed-city-budget">considering the city budget</a> for the next fiscal year. And the Austin Police Department was among the groups presenting budget requests to the council today. Police Chief Art Acevedo spent over an hour discussing the city manager's proposed city budget – which preserves Austin’s informal policy of two police officers for every thousand Austin residents.</p><p> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 22:08:11 +0000 Roy Varney & Wells Dunbar 8487 at http://kut.org Budget Battle Over Austin Police: Does APD Have Enough Detectives? 'Not Able to Keep Up:' Taxes, Fees Rise in Austin's Proposed City Budget http://kut.org/post/not-able-keep-taxes-fees-rise-austins-proposed-city-budget <p>A proposed budget for the City of Austin has the cost of living on the rise – again.</p><p>The proposed city budget for 2014, unveiled today, would mean about a $4 monthly increase for owners of a $185,000 home.&nbsp;And that doesn’t include additional <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/745800-city-of-austin-2013-14-proposed-budget.html#document/p14">rate and fee changes</a>.</p><p> Thu, 01 Aug 2013 19:20:18 +0000 Wells Dunbar & Laura Rice 8443 at http://kut.org 'Not Able to Keep Up:' Taxes, Fees Rise in Austin's Proposed City Budget KUT News Tries Out Austin's 'Budget in a Box' http://kut.org/post/kut-news-tries-out-austins-budget-box It's time to play everyone's favorite game!</p><p>The city's <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/biab">Budget in a Box</a> gives folks outside city hall a chance to learn about the city's budgeting process, then try on the shoes of a city budgeter, cutting, padding and managing programs and agencies that keep the city humming along.</p><p>KUT News acquired a copy of the game and we gave a two reporters and a few interns the chance to give the budgeting process the old college try. Click the video below to see how we fared. Wed, 05 Jun 2013 19:34:04 +0000 Wells Dunbar, Filipa Rodrigues & Andrew Weber 8001 at http://kut.org KUT News Tries Out Austin's 'Budget in a Box' Money Talk: Austin City Council to Hear Budget Needs Today http://kut.org/post/money-talk-austin-city-council-hear-budget-needs-today <p>The Austin City Council <a href="http://austin.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=414&amp;doctype=agenda" target="_blank">begins budget talks today</a> after hearing a <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/city-hall-hustle-hazy-outlook-austin-2014-city-budget" target="_blank">financial forecast for the city</a> two weeks ago. This morning, the council will discuss budget presentations by city departments.</p><p>For the first time, those presentations are available for everyone to watch <a href="http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDKZTUlNzz3pWM--HrmpNShUGAPCUKeZQ" target="_blank">on the city’s YouTube channel</a>. The city also included a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofpJgFHEk3k">video describing</a> how revenue from taxes and utilities equate to city services. Thu, 02 May 2013 13:02:45 +0000 Laura Rice 7585 at http://kut.org Money Talk: Austin City Council to Hear Budget Needs Today That’s a Whole Lot of PowerPoint: Austin’s 2014 Budget Videos Play Out Over 200 Wonky Minutes http://kut.org/post/s-whole-lot-powerpoint-austin-s-2014-budget-videos-play-out-over-200-wonky-minutes <p></p><p>The City of Austin’s trying something different this budget season: City department officials have made 20 videos that clock in at over 200 minutes, available on the city's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/austintexasgov?feature=watch">YouTube channel</a>.</p><p>The videos include everything from a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofpJgFHEk3k">basic overview</a>&nbsp;of how revenue from taxes and utilities equate to city services, to a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POyGhSw8Cdc">25-minute financial forecast</a>&nbsp;of public utility Austin Water. Each department’s financial forecast presentation is available online, so anyone who wants <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b_9NGNt7Oo">the lowdown on</a>, say, the Public Works department, can get it.</p><p> Mon, 29 Apr 2013 22:20:28 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7545 at http://kut.org That’s a Whole Lot of PowerPoint: Austin’s 2014 Budget Videos Play Out Over 200 Wonky Minutes City Hall Hustle: Hazy Outlook for Austin in 2014 City Budget http://kut.org/post/city-hall-hustle-hazy-outlook-austin-2014-city-budget <p></p><p></p><p>Last week, the Austin City Council got its first look at the numbers for next year’s budget.</p><p>The financial outlook? Well … we’ll get back to you about that.</p><p>The thing is, Austin’s currently negotiating its three public safety contracts – police, fire and EMS. And budget staff call those contracts a wild card in the city’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget.</p><p> Wed, 24 Apr 2013 21:17:41 +0000 Wells Dunbar 7488 at http://kut.org City Hall Hustle: Hazy Outlook for Austin in 2014 City Budget APD: 250 More Cops by 2017? http://kut.org/post/apd-250-more-cops-2017 <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Austin Police Department is recommending the city hire as many as 250 more officers by 2017 to meet population growth. The suggested number came from a</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> study by the <a href="http://www.policeforum.org/">Police Executive Research Forum</a>.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Austin follows a rough ratio of two officers per thousand residents as a staffing guideline. Currently there’s just over 1,700&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">APD</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;officers meeting the staffing guideline.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Tue, 02 Apr 2013 20:28:43 +0000 Ann Choi & Wells Dunbar 7185 at http://kut.org APD: 250 More Cops by 2017? City Council Allocates Austin's $14 Million Budget Surplus (Update) http://kut.org/post/city-council-allocates-austins-14-million-budget-surplus-update <p><strong>Update</strong>:&nbsp;In a protracted and somewhat testy meeting, the Austin City Council budgeted and allocated the sum of the city’s $14 million budget surplus.</p><p>The day’s big winner? Affordable housing initiatives, which were earmarked for $10 million. Wildfire fuel mitigation received a little over $1 million, the <a href="http://www.childinc.org/welcome.html">Child Inc</a>. after-school program received $557,000, and a pilot program for 24 hour patrol of the Hike &amp; Bike Trail received $350,000. You can <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/603114-autin-city-councils-budget-surplus-spending.html">view a complete list of the council’s actions</a>.</p><p> Tue, 12 Feb 2013 23:16:04 +0000 Wells Dunbar & Laura Rice 6560 at http://kut.org City Council Allocates Austin's $14 Million Budget Surplus (Update) Nothing But Net Revenues: Here's Your City Council Budget Brackets http://kut.org/post/nothing-net-revenues-heres-your-city-council-budget-brackets <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We’re still about a month away from March Madness, but Austin City Council members are already filling out their brackets.</span></p> Mon, 11 Feb 2013 21:02:31 +0000 Wells Dunbar 6547 at http://kut.org Nothing But Net Revenues: Here's Your City Council Budget Brackets Council Passes City Budget, But the Mayor's Not Happy http://kut.org/post/council-passes-city-budget-mayors-not-happy <p>The Austin City Council has approved a $3.1 billion budget for the next fiscal year. Coming after hours of discussion, which <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/city-council-begins-adoption-31-billion-budget-today">began at a meeting yesterday</a>, the final vote was six to one. Mayor Lee Leffingwell was the lone vote against the budget.</p><p>“My intention is to vote no as a symbol, an an acknowledgment hopefully, that we could have done better,” Mayor Leffingwell said prior to the vote. “I’m not going to let this be a unanimous vote that the entire council approve this budget with a huge, a large spending increase.”&nbsp;<a href="http://kutnews.org/post/across-board-cut-nixed-slow-going-city-budget" target="_blank">Leffingwell&nbsp;surprised his colleagues yesterday</a>&nbsp;by calling for a two percent across the board cut to most departments in the city’s general fund, excluding the public safety departments. &nbsp;That proposal failed on a similar six to one margin, with only the mayor voting aye.</p><p>At the meeting today, council member Bill Spelman said it was too late in the process for revisions like those&nbsp;Leffingwell&nbsp;proposed.</p><p> Tue, 11 Sep 2012 21:29:26 +0000 Nathan Bernier 5063 at http://kut.org Council Passes City Budget, But the Mayor's Not Happy With Across the Board Cut Nixed, Slow Going on City Budget http://kut.org/post/across-board-cut-nixed-slow-going-city-budget <p>Any hopes for a quick adoption of the City of Austin’s annual city budget went out the window this morning, as a proposal from Mayor Lee Leffingwell for a flat two percent cut to departmental budgets created a heated discussion among City Council members.</p><p>Citing the impact of a proposed 2.2 cent increase to property taxes – just short of the maximum increase allowed by state law without a special election – Mayor Leffingwell called for a two percent cut to most of the city’s general fund departments, which would create approximate savings of $4.5 million. A 2.2 cent property tax increase would mean an additional $18 each month in city fees and taxes for the owner of a median-valued home (approximately $186,000).</p><p>Leffingwell excluded the city’s public safety departments (police, fire and EMS) from the cuts – departments that are the biggest portion of the general fund.</p><p> Mon, 10 Sep 2012 19:53:31 +0000 Wells Dunbar 5052 at http://kut.org With Across the Board Cut Nixed, Slow Going on City Budget City Council Begins Adoption of $3.1 Billion Budget Today http://kut.org/post/city-council-begins-adoption-31-billion-budget-today <p>The Austin City Council meets this morning to hash out the city’s budget for the next fiscal year. And with competing needs and limited dollars, council members may need three days to agree on the spending.</p><p>The city has an overall budget of $3.1 billion – that includes all city services and programs, including Austin Energy and Austin Water. But when it comes to budget adoption, most attention focuses on the general fund – the pot of money that pays for basic city services such as police, fire and EMS, parks, libraries and more. That amount has <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/taxes-fees-rise-proposed-city-budget">risen to $742.5 million this year</a>.</p><p>General fund spending will likely consume much of council’s attention – council member Kathie Tovo <a href="http://kut.org/2012/09/city-closing-in-on-budget-approval-2/">tells KUT News</a> she’s looking closely at funding for youth programs and recreation centers. But the property tax rate that pays for many city services may be on the table too.</p><p> Mon, 10 Sep 2012 14:14:28 +0000 Wells Dunbar 5049 at http://kut.org City Council Begins Adoption of $3.1 Billion Budget Today Sound Off on City Budget, Property Tax Today http://kut.org/post/sound-city-budget-property-tax-today <p>Austin City Council members will <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/department/city-council/council-meetings">hear from residents today</a> about <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/taxes-fees-rise-proposed-city-budget">the city’s budget</a> and the proposed property tax rate.</p><p>The proposed tax rate is up approximately 2 cents from last year – making it a little over 50 cents per $100 of taxable property value.</p><p>Council members are scheduled to adopt the city’s budget next month, in a series of meetings starting Sept. 10. Today’s public hearings are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. in the council chambers, and as always, you can <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/department/channel-6">watch the action online</a>.</p><p>Council member Bill Spelman is expected to return today, after a medical absence to remove a tumor from his pancreas.</p><p> Thu, 30 Aug 2012 14:51:51 +0000 Wells Dunbar & Laura Rice 4984 at http://kut.org Sound Off on City Budget, Property Tax Today AM Update: APD Wants New Copter, Removing Downtown Benches, KUT Signal Vote http://kut.org/post/am-update-apd-wants-new-copter-removing-downtown-benches-kut-signal-vote <p><strong>Austin Police Want New Helicopter, More Staff</strong></p><p>The council is set to discuss <a href="http://austin.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=266&amp;doctype=AGENDA" target="_blank">purchasing a new helicopter</a> for the Austin Police Department today.</p><p>The department says its current fleet is <a href="https://austin.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/cache/2/22wisaab1rif0z55iufu3h45/30695908232012064619555.PDF" target="_blank">old and in need of maintenance</a> and that a new helicopter would enable officers to <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/city-council-wrap-f1-trip-england-city-officials" target="_blank">more quickly respond</a> to some emergencies.</p><p>APD also wants council to approve a bigger budget for the department so it can hire more staff. Thu, 23 Aug 2012 13:40:30 +0000 Laura Rice 4935 at http://kut.org AM Update: APD Wants New Copter, Removing Downtown Benches, KUT Signal Vote