Council member warns new city budget not affordable

The Austin City Council will approve a new multi-million budget in September. Thursday, council member Ellen Troxclair, sat down with me and expressed concern that the budget will be big on spending and small on breaks for taxpayers.

"I just don’t think that its right and I don’t think that we can continue, it’s an unsustainable path of spending,” said Troxclair.

In a recent Op-Ed published in the Austin-American Statesman, Troxclair argued the new 10-1 council seems to have lost its original focus to make Austin affordable. She wrote, "the proposed budget takes the easy road at every turn."

Troxclair says there is a philosophical difference in how she and other council members want to bring about affordability.  In her opinion, some promote subsidies while she wants to steam line and make city government more efficient.

"There's a huge disconnect between what I hear, all over the city from regular people about them not being able to afford living in the city and the decisions that we are making at city hall that is just lumping more and more cost on them."

Troxclair says current drafts increases general fund spending by nearly $60-million and creates more than 400 new positions, even though there are more than a 1000 vacancies.

"We are looking at a budget cycle that is going to increase every property tax, every fee every utility bill in the entire city, there is really nothing that’s going untouched this budget cycle and they are also adopting the maximum tax rate,” said Troxclair.