The Cedar Park City Council approved a $193 million budget that will lower the city’s property tax rate for the fifth year in a row. The new 45.750 cents per $100 property tax rate is one of the lowest rates in the Austin area, officials said.
However, as property values continue to rise in the area, the new rate will likely add $62 to the average homeowner’s bill. This is the lowest property tax rate Cedar Park has had in 15 years, according to city officials. The rate represents a 1.25 cent decrease from last years rate of 47 cents.
“Cedar Park is a great city and great cities are safe, connected and fiscally sound,” said City Manager Brenda Eivens. “This balanced budget features a continued commitment to public safety, mobility improvements, and an increase in employment opportunities and other community enhancements.”
The new budget reflects a nine percent increase over last year’s Cedar Park budget and includes 19 additional city employees, economic development grants to attract new businesses, and jobs, parks and transportation projects approved in a 2015 bond issue.
According to city officials, the theme of this year’s Cedar Park Budget is Guided Growth for a Community Centered Future. More than 52 percent of the general fund budget goes toward public safety.
In other action Thursday, the city council approved a performance based economic development grant that is not to exceed $580,000 for Innovative Funding Services, LLC, which is building a 25,000 square-foot office building in Cedar Park.
Innovative Services specializes in low cost auto loans and is currently located in Austin. Chief Operations Officer Rob McKee told the city council that Innovative Services plans to create over 200 jobs in Cedar Park within the next five years and will invest as much as $5 million developing its Cedar Park location.
“We are a great company with a great staff and we look forward to moving to Cedar Park,” McKee said.
Mayor Matt Powell was in favor of the project.
“This project is important to Cedar Park,” Powell said. “The risk is sufficiently little for the city and I believe we should approve this project.”