For years, local government has quietly accepted large increases in property taxes while claiming they held the line. We need to shift to using the no-new-revenue rate as a baseline and bring honesty to to the public based on changes in tax bills, not rates. Read more here
Our water system is nearing capacity. We have recently set in motion plans to expand the capacity and resiliency of the system while bringing cost savings per gallon. We need to follow through on these plans to bring rate relief to city water customers. Read more here and here for Community Impact coverage.
Incentives are an important part of attracting certain development, but we need to target incentives to businesses that bring good paying jobs to Hutto, and limit the incentive amounts so that the development still brings positive tax dollars to the city. Our recent deal with KVAL Machinery is a good example of this approach.
Additionally, we need new development to pay the costs of the new infrastructure needed to support it, not pass those costs over to existing residents as we have done in the past. We approved higher water and wastewater impact fees so that new development pays more of the cost for improving our water and wastewater systems. We also set a new traffic impact fee and removed a standing policy to waive these fees. This will help us pay for road improvements as the city grows.
In 2018, voters approved $125M in bonds to fund a variety of projects. To date, very few projects have been completed. Even worse, our taxes were already raised more than promised for the entire bond package and only $25M has been issued so far. See these links to understand where we started, where we are today, and the path forward.
Our city has an unfortunate history of making promises to neighborhoods that go unfulfilled for years, sometimes decades. The city finally taking over the drainage ditches in Legends of Hutto was just the start of fulfilling these promises. We need to get to sidewalks in Lakeside Estates. We also need to avoid setting up more promises that aren't kept. Read more here