Georgetown City Council passed the fiscal year 2023 budget on September 13. The enacted budget for fiscal year 2023 totals $722 million and cuts the city’s property tax rate by 2.7 cents.
This is the third straight year the city has proposed to reduce the property tax rate, keeping the city’s rate among the lowest of any Austin-area city with a population over 20,000. The council also increased the homestead exemption to the higher of $5,000 or 5%.
Lowering the rate to 37.4 cents per $100 of assessment and taking into account the increase in the homestead exemption, the average property tax bill would increase by $56. Without lowering the tax rate or increasing the homestead exemption, the average taxpayer would see a $178 increase in their tax bill.
As a result of cost recovery analyzes across multiple departments and a study of water and wastewater rates, Georgetown residents and customers can expect multiple user fees and water and sewage rates are also rising.
“The enacted budget will help ensure that city staff and programs can keep pace with Georgetown’s rapid growth and the increased demands on our infrastructure and resources that come with it,” said Mayor Josh Schroeder. “Over the next year, residents will see their money working hard, with continued investments in transportation and water infrastructure, customer service and public safety, so that we can maintain the high level of service what our residents expect.
The enacted budget has not changed from the proposed budget, which is available online at finance.georgetown.org. The adopted budget book will be available later this year.
The main themes of the budget passed are maintaining service levels in the face of record growth and responding to national economic pressure while executing the studies and projects launched this year, managing staff workload pressures, improving risk management practices and responding to a tight labor market. through retention and attraction efforts. Adequate funding for these priorities – in particular building the infrastructure needed to keep pace with growth, responding to development pressures, and retaining and recruiting high caliber employees – helped ensure that the budget proposed is $239.5 million higher than the original adopted budget for the current fiscal year of $483 million. .
Highlights of the enacted budget include:
- 79.5 positions, the majority in the water, public safety and engineering departments
- Respond to development pressures and record growth: 129% increase in single-family building permits from 2019 to 2022; regularly more than 100 active public infrastructure construction sites in the city; 55% growth in population served by Water Utility since 2016
- The cost of service is increasing due to supply chain challenges and inflation. Several city expenditures have seen inflation increase by 20%.
- Recruitment and retention of employees: The City’s turnover rate is expected to be 17% by the end of the year – higher than usual, but below national trends. The budget includes increasing average merit pay to 5%, conducting additional market reviews for city positions, adding holidays, and allowing overhiring in some departments.
- Risk management, including the addition of staff in finance, power, water and emergency management and contract support for legal, real estate and inspections
- A strong projected electrical fund balance of $49.4 million and investments in people, technology and infrastructure to maintain system reliability.
- Long-term water supply planning, staffing, and resilience programs to ensure water demands in the city’s water service area meet current and future growth.
- Significant investments in transportation, including additional staff, improvements to intersections and sidewalks, and additional resources to ensure the start of Mobility Bond 2021 projects over the next three years.
For more information, visit finance.georgetown.org.