Georgetown Finance Department

Introduction

Finance Administration plans and directs the City’s financial activities.  The Department oversees accounting, purchasing, tax collection, billing, financial reporting, debt, and investment management.  Finance directs the City’s budgeting process, monitors the long-term financial plan, and prepares related policy recommendations.  Additionally, the Department plans City debt issuance, and monitors the City’s utility rates to ensure financial stability of these systems.  Finance is also liaison to several boards including the General Government and Finance (GGAF) Advisory Board, the Georgetown Economic Development Corporation (GEDCO), and the Georgetown Transportation Enhancement Corporation (GTEC).

Proposed Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Budget

The City of Georgetown budget affects every resident in our community. How we allocate your taxpayer dollars and monthly costs as utility customers determine the level of service you get in return for City functions, like providing electricity, drinking water, resources to respond to emergencies, well-maintained streets, a world-class library, and accessible trails.

City staff used Council goals to develop a preliminary version of the FY2023 budget, which was presented to City Council July 19. The workshop gave council a chance to weigh options and provide direction, so staff can come back in August with a proposed budget that reflects their feedback as well.

The proposed budget totals $722 million and decreases the City’s property tax rate by 2.7 cents (from 40.1 cents per $100 valuation to 37.4). This is the third 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 recently voted to increase the homestead exemption to the greater of $5,000 or 5 percent. By lowering the rate to 37.4 cents per $100 of valuation and accounting for the increase in homestead exemption, the average property tax bill is expected to increase by about $56. Without lowering the tax rate or increasing the homestead exemption, the average taxpayer would see an increase of $178 to their tax bill.

Following cost recovery analyses across multiple departments and a water and wastewater rate study, Georgetown residents and customers can expect several user fees and water and wastewater rates to increase as well.

Major themes of the proposed budget are maintaining service levels in the face of record-setting growth and responding to nationwide economic pressure while executing studies and projects initiated this year, addressing staff workload pressures, improving risk management practices, and responding to a tight labor market through retention and attraction efforts. Adequately funding those priorities – particularly building the infrastructure needed to keep pace with growth, responding to development pressures, and retaining and recruiting high-caliber employees – contributed to the proposed budget being $239.5 million more than the current fiscal year’s original, adopted budget of $483 million.

Highlights of the proposed budget include:

  • 79.5 positions, the majority of which are in water, public safety, and engineering departments
  • Responding to pressures from development and record-setting growth: 129 percent increase in single-family building permits from 2019 to 2022; consistently more than 100 active public infrastructure construction sites in the city; 55 percent growth in population served by Water Utility since 2016
  • Cost of service increases due to supply chain challenges and inflation. Several City expenses saw inflation increase by 20 percent.
  • Employee recruitment and retention: The City’s turnover rate is expected to by 17 percent by the end of the year – higher than usual, but lower than nationwide trends. The budget includes increasing average merit pay to 5 percent, conducting additional market reviews for City positions, adding holidays, and authorizing over hiring in certain departments.
  • Risk management, including adding staffing in finance, electric, water, and emergency management and contracting support for legal, real estate, and inspections
  • A strong projected electric fund balance of $49.4 million and investments in staffing, technology, and infrastructure to maintain system reliability.
  • Long-range water supply planning, staffing, and resiliency programs to ensure water demands in the City’s water service area meet current and future growth.
  • Significant investment in transportation, including additional staffing, intersection and sidewalk improvements, and additional resources to ensure 2021 mobility bond projects are started within the next three years.

FY2023 Proposed Budget Presentation

FY2023 Proposed Budget overview and table of Contents
FY2023 Proposed Budget General Fund
FY2023 Proposed Budget Electric Fund
FY2023 Proposed Budget Water Fund
FY2023 Proposed Budget Other Enterprise Fund
FY2023 Proposed Budget Special Revenue Fund
FY2023 Proposed Budget Internal Service Fund
FY2023 Proposed Budget Capital Improvement and Debt Projects
FY2023 Proposed Budget Reference

Timeline

  • June 28: Council workshop
  • July 12: Council workshop: Citywide fee increases. Video | Presentation
  • July 19: Council budget workshop: Video | Budget presentation
  • Aug. 9: First presentation of the full budget; City Council sets maximum tax rate and public hearing dates
  • Aug. 21: Comments on draft budget close (see form below)
  • Aug. 23: Public hearings and first reading of both the tax rate and the budget
  • Sept. 13: Second reading and final adoption of the tax rate and budget
  • Oct. 1: New budget year begins, and new water/wastewater rates are in effect

Share your feedback

Because we ask you, our residents, to trust us with your hard-earned income, we must make sure we’re spending your money the way you want it to be spent. Toward that end, we want to hear your input on the proposed budget, so the budget we present to Council in August can be informed by your feedback.

Please use the box below to submit your comments about the proposed budget. It will go to the communications and finance teams, who will review and share the feedback with the City Manager’s Office and City Council. All comments must be received by 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, to be included in the report to Council before its Aug. 23 meeting.

You’ll have other opportunities to provide comments to City Council during public hearings and Council meetings, outlined in the timeline above.

For information about previous years’ budgets, click here.

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