The 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).
Adopted Fiscal Year 2024 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 determines 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 City Council goals to develop a preliminary version of the FY2024 budget, which was presented to City Council on July 11. The workshop gave the council a chance to weigh options and provide direction, so staff could come back to the Aug. 8 meeting with a proposed budget that reflects their feedback as well. Council had public hearings to consider the FY2024 budget for Aug. 22 and Sept. 12.
The adopted budget totals $868 million and keeps the City’s property tax rate at 37.4 cents per $100 valuation. The City’s rate is among the lowest of all cities in the Austin area with a population greater than 20,000. By keeping the rate at 37.4 cents per $100 of valuation and increasing property values, the average property tax bill is expected to increase by about $125 per year, or $10.42 a month.
Following a solid waste and a water and wastewater rate study, Georgetown residents and customers can expect solid waste, water, and wastewater rates to increase, as well. The budget includes a solid waste rate increase of 4.5 percent for residential customers, or about $0.98 per month, and 9.5 percent for commercial users. Water and wastewater rates will increase 13 percent for all customer types, or approximately $6 a month for a family using 6,000 gallons of water per month. Residential wastewater customers in the city limits will see a $5.05 a month increase, and those outside the city limits will see a $5.80 a month increase.
Major themes of the adopted budget are investments in transportation and utility infrastructure, public safety, and customer services. 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 adopted budget being $139 million more than the current fiscal year’s adopted budget of $722 million. Of this increase, $53 million can be attributed to the growth in the City’s FY2024 capital improvement program over the previous year.
Highlights of the adopted budget include:
- 51 positions in key areas such as water and electric, public safety, and a customer service 311-like call center
- Responding to pressures from development and growth: The number of building permits seems to have leveled off from 2022 highs, and the number of new water customer connections decreased from 5,000 per year to 3,600; 29 percent growth in population served by Water Utility since 2020
- Rate increases to keep up with the cost to provide service: Residential solid waste rates will increase by 4.5 percent and commercial rates by 9.5 percent. Water and wastewater rates will also increase by 13 percent for all customer types, which is $6 a month for residential customers using 6,000 gallons of water.
- Employee recruitment and retention: The budget includes an average merit pay of 4 percent and conducting additional market reviews for City positions.
- Implementation of a 311 Call Center to help centralize residential calls for City services, streamline processing and reporting of service calls, improve response times, and enhance customer service Citywide.
- Electric utility staffing, technology, and security, infrastructure to maintain system reliability, and enhanced cash reserve levels.
- Water plant operations staffing, as well as capital improvement projects, including upsizing waterlines, rehabilitating the Dove Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant, expanding the III Forks wastewater plant, and other investments in infrastructure to ensure water demands in the City’s water service area meet current and future growth.
- The adopted budget includes a $6 million increase from the proposed budget for a groundwater supply reservation contract.
- July 11: Council budget workshop: Video | Budget presentations
- Aug. 8: First presentation of the full budget; City Council sets maximum tax rate and public hearing dates: Video | Budget presentation
- Aug. 20: Comments on draft budget close
- Aug. 22: Public hearings and first reading of the budget: Video | Budget presentation
- Sept. 12: Second reading and final adoption of the budget and first reading of the tax rate: Video | Budget presentation
- Sept. 26: Second reading and final adoption of the tax rate: Video
- Oct. 1: New budget year begins, and new water/wastewater rates are in effect
Share your feedback
Thank you for 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 asked for your input on the proposed budget, so the budget we presented to Council on Aug. 22 could be informed by your feedback.
Comments submitted via this webpage closed Aug. 20. We received 10 comments, which were shared with City leadership and the council.
For information about previous years’ budgets, click here.