Affordability is a major concern for all Austinites and our city property taxes and utility rates are an important component to that problem. The average taxpayer will pay more in energy and water rates than they pay in property taxes. And while the city represents just 20% of a homeowner's total property tax bill, the city's land use and zoning rules have a major impact on the rapidly rising property valuations that exacerbate rising bills from other entities. We must enact policies that both reduce our tax and utility rates, implement better budget and cost controls, and distribute the fixed costs of government across more taxpayers.
- Enact bi-annual budgeting for city departments to allow more time for more in-depth analysis and better planning of future staff costs
- End the practice of budgeting based solely on increasing a prior budget and use a more accurate assessment of current and future city needs
- End the practice of direct corporate tax incentives
- Reorganize Austin Water to fix the broken business model of encouraging conservation but funding infrastructure entirely from sales of water
- Retain citizen ownership of our utility companies and use the profits from energy sales to keep property taxes lower
- Separate non-utility uses of funds from utility budgets for increased transparency