Interim City Manager Jesus Garza has told City Council that it should wait until at least 2026 before asking voters to approve more bond funding, but some on Council are arguing that the need for additional climate investments is too great to wait two more years.
Council this week will take up a resolution authored by CM Ryan Alter that asks city staff to consider ways to fund a "climate investment plan."
A general obligation bond this November is just one of the possible funding mechanisms. Alter also wants to consider a tax rate election, allowing voters to hike their taxes to create a permanent revenue stream for climate programs, just as they did in 2020 for Project Connect. Finally, because many of the initiatives he envisions are related to energy and water, some of the investments could be covered by Austin Energy and Austin Water rates.