AUSTIN – Last week, the City of Austin unveiled its proposed budget for fiscal year 2015-16, revealing higher taxes, questionable spending items, and an overall bigger city government. As is, the city’s proposed budget would raise all taxes and fees on the average homeowner by combined $136 annually.

“Austin is already unaffordable for many lower- and middle-class homeowners, and the slew of new taxes and fees in the city’s proposed budget threaten to make this problem even worse,” said James Quintero, director of the Center for Local Governance. “Under the city’s new budget, the average homeowner would see his or her city-related rates, taxes, and fees grow by an estimated $136 annually. This double-digit monthly increase in the cost of government comes at a terrible time for Austinites who are already struggling with soaring taxes and fees from all corners of local government.

“Rather than raise taxes and fees on already struggling homeowners, city leaders would be wise to fund the core functions of government by setting clear priorities and eliminating redundant or unnecessary programs.”
 
To schedule an interview with Mr. Quintero, please contact Olivia Gustin at ogustin@texaspolicy.com or 512-472-2700.

James Quintero is director of the Center for Local Governance at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.