Council adopts FY2022 budget that focuses on utilities, transportation, public safety
The Georgetown City Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2022 budget Sept. 28. The adopted FY2022 budget totals $483 million and decreases the City’s property tax rate by 1.7 cents.
This is the second year in a row the City has proposed reducing the property tax rate, maintaining the City’s rate as among the lowest of all cities in the Austin area with a population greater than 20,000. Council also voted to increase the homestead exemption to the greater of $5,000 or 3 percent, contributing to $370,000 in additional taxpayer relief. However, because property values in Georgetown increased 15.4 percent, the average homeowner in Georgetown is expected to pay $56 more in property taxes in the upcoming year.
“Residents are going to see significant work toward their priorities in this next fiscal year,” Mayor Josh Schroeder said. “The investment in transportation and water infrastructure, the customer service enhancements, and our continued commitment to public safety afforded in this budget are going to help us tackle the complex challenges facing our constantly growing city.”
The adopted budget did not change from the proposed budget, which is provided online at finance.georgetown.org. The adopted budget book will be available later this year.
City staff used the results of recent public feedback opportunities, including the 2020 resident survey and council goals, to develop the preliminary version of next year’s budget, which spans Oct. 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2022.
Major themes of the proposed budget are investing in transportation and utility infrastructure, public safety, and customer services, as well as providing the staffing, equipment, and software needed for record-setting growth and development. Adequately funding those priorities—particularly transportation and water capital improvement projects ($90 million), public safety investments, and staffing and resources needed to maintain service levels during Georgetown’s sustained period of high growth—contributed to the preliminary budget being $87 million (or 18 percent) more than the current fiscal year’s budget of $396 million.
Highlights of the adopted budget include:
- Providing taxpayer relief, despite significant increases to service demand and debt, including Winter Storm Uri and the 2021 mobility bond projects.
- 53 positions, the majority of which are in the fire, water, and electric departments
- One-time start-up costs for a multi-year plan to fund a Police K9 unit
- One of the largest investments in utility infrastructure in the City’s history. This investment includes $49.8 million in water projects ranging from a new pump station to the first phase of construction for the new South Lake Water Treatment Plant.
- Long-range water supply planning, staffing, and resiliency programs to ensure water demands are met in the City’s water service area to meet current and future growth
- Significant investment in transportation, including additional staffing, an Overall Transportation Plan Amendment, a Williams Drive Access Management Plan, a Pavement Condition Index, and additional resources to ensure 2021 mobility bond projects are started within the next five years
- A strong projected electric fund balance of $36.7 million and investments in staffing, technology, and infrastructure to maintain system reliability
- Investment in customer service staffing and programming, including establishing a program to improve intake and response to all customer complaints; improving water and electric outage notifications; and redesigning and organizing the City’s website
For more information, visit finance.georgetown.org.