The Austin Chronicle

General Funds Budget

August 31, 2012, News

Although the full budget documents reflect the "All Funds" budget – $3.1 billion, including all income/expenses of the city-owned utilities and other "enterprise departments" – the primary focus of public budget discussions is the "General Funds" budget, projected at $742.5 million.

Sources of Funds ($742.5 million)

Property taxes provide over 40% of GF revenue, with the rest coming from sales taxes, utility transfers (that is, some of the "profit" earned by our utilities), and miscellaneous (fees for services, grants, etc.). Sales taxes are the most volatile, and this year have shown a better-than-expected comeback.

Uses of Funds ($742.5 million)

As always, public safety costs (police, fire, emergency medical) garner by far the largest share of the GF budget, at 64% (66% including municipal court) – within its historic range, but not the inexorable expansion above that range sometimes predicted in recent years. Parks & Recreation and Libraries together come to only 11%, and that miscellaneous "Transfer" category is at 13%.

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