HUTTO, Texas – The City of Hutto will hold public hearings for a proposed 2018-2019 budget at 7 p.m., Thurs., Sept. 6 and Thurs. Sept. 13 in the Hutto City Council Chambers at 401 W. Front Street.

The proposed budget, which remains fiscally conservative at 24% less than last year’s proposed budget and keeps the property tax rate the same as last year, balances the focus on economic development, with an aging infrastructure, and the desire to grow and expand programs and services.

“The theme for the budget is GROW,” said City Manager, Odis Jones. “The budget is carefully crafted to enable a strategic and thoughtful response to the growing needs of the Hutto community.” 

Operating expenses have decreased in part due to efficiency gains such as contracting and operating the water system itself, as well as performing maintenance internally on Hutto streets and drainage systems.

The City has grown to a population of more than 30,000 and has added 2,150 homes within the last six years and expects to add more than 400 homes in 2018 adding approximately 1,200 new residents who need services.

The proposed 2018-19 General Fund revenues are budgeted to total $15,336,378, an increase of 11.5% from prior 2017-18 projected year-end actuals holding the ad valorem rate at $0.515171 per $100 of valuation. Property taxes make up a significant portion of the revenues, followed by sales tax. A diverse revenue base is essential for maintaining a sound financial system. Increased commercial and residential development is slated for the upcoming year and beyond. This new development will reduce the City’s reliability on residential property tax revenue as more sales tax is collected and the tax base continues to diversify.

General Fund personnel enhancements for 2018-19 include: two additional patrol police officers; a warrant officer to serve as a bailiff and to track warrants; a building inspector to keep up with the increased activity and construction; two program recreation coordinators to help service the parks and new programs that will occur; one administrative assistant for police; one sergeant for the criminal investigation division; a 3% merit pay, which aligns with the Council adopted Strategic Plan, and step-increases for Hutto police.

General Fund equipment and other enhancements for 2018-19 include information technology and software upgrades, increases for new equipment, radio replacements, parks and recreation programs, facilities, and equipment, and vehicle and police equipment additions.

The General Fund is the principal fund of the city, used to pay for core government services such as a police, administration, planning and development, library services, parks and recreation, and streets and drainage. General Fund expenses, total $15,622.475 with police making up the largest percentage of General Fund expenses at 32%, followed by administration and quality of life services making up the next largest percentages at 20% and 12% respectively.

There is $3.8 million in capital improvement projects in the proposed budget for public infrastructure upgrades including roads, drainage and utilities.

The City Council will hold public hearings on the budget and tax rate on Sept. 6 and Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers.  

The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

News Coverage:
Average Hutto homeowner could see $81 increase in property taxes - Austin American-Statesman
Hutto budget, tax rate, proposed with public hearing date - Community Impact