City of Austin adopts $5.5B FY 2023-24 budget

The Austin City Council has adopted a $5.5 billion budget for FY 2023-24.

The adopted budget incorporated the interim City Manager's proposed budget with additional investments important to Austinites, says the city.

The council investments include expanding the Safer Sixth Initiative, additional resources to assist people experiencing homelessness and funding for legal services for low-income immigrants.  

The General Fund budget is $1.4 billion, and the Capital Budget includes $1.6 billion in planned spending.

Council’s approval comes after several months of stakeholder engagement, including town halls, community budget input meetings, and a public survey.  

The FY 2023-24 approved budget document will be published in the fall. 

Budget Highlights  

Council began working from the Interim City Manager’s proposed budget, which included the following investments, now part of the adopted budget:

  • $87.2 million in planned capital spending for the Housing Department’s housing development assistance programs, aimed at creating or preserving deeply affordable housing
  • $80.9 million in homelessness response efforts
  • $6.1 million in one-time funding to contribute to the cost of equipping City facilities with generators to ensure power in the event of a weather emergency
  • $4 million, including new positions, to improve internal processes related to permitting and plan reviews, as well as expedite proposed changes in the land development code
  • $2.7 million to enhance security and cleanliness at parks, library branches, public health clinics, and the animal shelter
  • $10.5 million in planned capital spending for aquatic infrastructure projects, including the new Colony Park pool and Givens Pool renovations
  • $1 million in Austin Energy’s budget to conduct a study regarding conversion of the overhead distribution system to underground
  • $2.6 million for police cadet recruitment incentives
  • $5.5 million in planned capital spending for Domestic Violence Shelter
  • $15.9 million in planned capital spending for renovations to the Faulk Library and branch library facilities

Council Amendments

After the Interim City Manager presented his proposed budget in July, the Council made the following amendments and directives:

  • $2 million in one-time funding for a mental health jail diversion pilot program
  • $1.8 million to purchase a new aerial fire truck for the Austin Fire Department
  • $1.35 million to increase availability of HIV/STI testing and treatment
  • $1.3 million for a family stabilization grant program for low-income families
  • $2 million for shade structures throughout the city
  • $1.1 million to support digital delivery of services for the homeless
  • Nearly $400,000 to enhance programming at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center
  • $770,000 to fund seven full-time positions to support services for victims and survivors of crime
  • Over $500,000 to improve maintenance and security at parks, pools, recreation and cultural centers

Impact on Taxpayers  

The overall tax rate would decrease by 1.69 cents, however, due to rising property values, the typical Austin homeowner will still see an overall 6.1 percent increase in their tax bill. 

For the typical non-senior homeowner with a median home value of $499,524, their City tax bill will be $1,782 per year or $148 per month, up $102 from last year.

At the same time, some of the City’s rates and fees, including electricity, trash service, and transportation user fee, will increase for typical rate payers in response to escalating operational costs and increasing service demands from a growing population. 

Altogether, the combined projected impact of tax, rate and fee changes represent an increase for the typical ratepayer of 3.6%, equivalent to an additional $172 per year or $14.31 per month.