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The Austin City Council is pushing back on Austin Energy's $1.4 billion budget

The Austin City Council is pushing back on Austin Energy’s proposed budget which includes a rate hike for customers. The rate hike amounts to about $5.00 per month per customer. Mayor Lee Leffingwell says he is disappointed with the proposal and wants the department to take another look at cutting more of the budget, rather than raise rates, "Really, we just adopted this policy (of only allowing rate hikes of 2 percent per year) and we made an exception for the general rate case that we had last year to exceed those affordability goals and now we're back the very first time, the very next budget after that, we're talking about exceeding it again." Council member Mike Martinez says he agrees with the Mayor and suggests possibly convening a task force to study the issue. "This just does not feel and look appropriate that we are putting $4 million in our reserves and raising their rates." Leffingwell says he plans on addressing the issue with the council’s energy committee next week.

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