Travis County Voters Approve $185 Million Bond Package
Voters approved a Travis County bond package totaling almost $185 million Tuesday by a wide margin. More than 73 percent of voters cast a ballot in favor of both bond packages. The funding will go toward capital improvements across the county, as well as extending services to parts of eastern Travis County, Manor and Pflugerville.
Before Election Day, Proposition A was dubbed a “health and safety” bond by Travis County Commissioner Jeff Travillion. The funds, which total more than $93 million, will go toward expanding and adding roads and improving drainage systems in flood-prone areas, as well as building new bridges, bike lanes and sidewalks.
Many of the projects are located east of I-35 and aim to address long-standing concerns over safety getting around. The biggest-ticket item is an $11.8 million extension of Harold Green Road from State Highway 130 to Austin’s Colony Boulevard.
Proposition B includes more than $91 million in funding for county parks and green space. The most expensive project in the package is the construction of the $23.5 million Bee Creek Sports Complex, which would feature synthetic turf fields, a hike and bike trail, picnic areas and playgrounds.
Proposition B also includes more than $11 million for the county to buy new parkland and $16.6 million for conservation easements, which aim to protect natural resources and environmental features.
Travis County does not plan to issue all of the debt from the 2017 bond package at once. But over the next few years, a resident who owns an average-priced home can expect to pay about $24 more a year in property taxes. The impact will vary depending on home value. Travis County has created an online calculator for residents to estimate the impact on their individual property tax bills.
The county plans to repay the bond debt over the next 20 years with property tax dollars. In 2015, Travis County voters narrowly rejected a $287 million bond referendum that would have funded a new county courthouse.