September 22, 2021
(Austin) – The Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, Sept. 21, voted unanimously to approve Central Health’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget and tax rate to pay for health care services for Travis County residents with low income. Central Health provides health care services to about one out of every nine Travis County residents.
The budget is now finalized for the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1. Of the entire $506 million budget, more than 97% ($491 million) is dedicated to health care delivery.
With the approved budget, Central Health will fund new health and wellness centers in Eastern Travis County and expand health care programs and services. Highlights of the budget include:
- Expanding primary care and specialty care, health care for people experiencing homelessness, behavioral health, substance use disorder treatment, clinical and patient education, and coordinating care transitions for patients between health care settings and/or home.
- Increasing investments in Central Health’s Medical Access Program (MAP) and MAP BASIC through primary and urgent care and pharmacy.
- Investing in system of care planning through an equity lens to address gaps in services.
- Investing in operational excellence and Central Health employees, including enhancing and expanding diversity and inclusion initiatives.
“We are thankful for the Travis County Commissioners for thoughtful consideration and feedback to ensure the Central Health budget best serves our community,” Central Health President & CEO Mike Geeslin said. “By voting to support our budget and tax rate, commissioners are allowing Central Health to invest more in services and programs for people under 200% of the Federal Poverty Level who have no other means to pay for health care – so they can live the healthiest life possible.”
Fiscal Year 2022 Priorities
Next year’s priorities, adopted by the Central Health Board of Managers, include:
- Expanding health care services in Eastern Travis County with the design of three health and wellness centers in Hornsby Bend, Del Valle, and Colony Park.
- Designing and implementing a high-functioning, patient-focused, coordinated health care system.
- Implementing a sustainable financial model for health care delivery, including maintaining adequate levels of reserve funding to manage risk and uncertainty of unpredictable costs or revenue shortfalls.
Property Tax Rate
The $506 million FY 2022 budget is supported largely by property taxes. The Travis County Commissioners Court approved a property tax rate of 11.1814 cents per $100 of valuation. The tax rate will result in an annual increase of about $39.75 for the average taxable homestead value of approximately $386,000, with a total annual bill of $431.75.
Central Health has long maintained the lowest tax rate of any of the major urban hospital districts in Texas, a trend that continues into FY 2022. Central Health also maintains the lowest rate of any of the Travis County taxing entities – Austin ISD at 53.4% of the total tax bill, City of Austin at 22.4%, Travis County at 14.4%, Austin Community College at 5.2%, and Central Health at 4.5%.
Central Health relies on community input to develop its annual budget and strategic priorities. More than 800 people participated in the budget process providing input through surveys, community conversations and public hearings.
“This budget is the culmination of a highly collaborative process that captured input from the people we serve and care for, elected officials, and our trusted partners,” Central Health Board Vice Chair Dr. Charles Bell said. “This funding gives Central Health the opportunity to build on our commitment of empowering every community – and every person – with the best possible care.”
To learn more about Central Health’s proposed tax rate and budget, visit WWW.CENTRALHEALTH.NET/ABOUT/FINANCE/FY2022-BUDGET.