AUSTIN (KXAN) — On the heels of the $1 billion AISD bond approved by voters just one week ago — now the city of Austin is looking to ask voters to approve a multi-million dollar bond next November. Unlike AISD, this one would raise taxes — but by how much is still very much in question. Thursday night people are encouraged to let the city know what they think.
The proposed bond would amount to $640 million dollars. It would fund five areas: facility maintenance, transportation infrastructure, flood mitigation, parkland and affordable housing. How the bond would impact taxes is still being worked out — but initial reports from city staff raise taxes by one and a quarter cent on every $100 tax valuation for a home.
The chart above, created by city staff, also considers other scenarios less than and more than $640 million, including one where there would be no property tax increase if the proposed bond is cut in half.
“What it will come down to is the people who are advocating that need to explain what gets funded and what doesn’t and what should be delayed to future years to deal with,” says Tom Nuckols, Chairman of the Bond Election Advisory Task Force Committee.
Nuckols is part of a 13 member task force assembled by city council to review the plan and gather public feedback before presenting a bond proposal to city council in January.
“The task force has a tough job before it and we are very sensitive about the affordability issue, and property taxes are a big part of that, but property taxes are the city’s main way of paying for infrastructure,” Nuckols says.
The task force is holding a series of town hall meetings. The second one is Thursday at the Little Walnut Creek Library on West Rundberg Lane from 6:30 to 8 p.m. During these meeting they don’t want the public to just sit and give city staff their opinion. Instead, participants will be given an imaginary $825 dollars that needs to be divided between a variety of categories. The idea is to see if the public is putting the same emphasis on projects as city officials are.
The city has also established an online survey to gather additional feedback.
Once a proposal is given to city council concerning a future Nov. 2018 bond, city council has until the summer to vote on whether to put it on the ballot.