On May 1st, 2021, the Shady Hollow Municipal Utility District (SHMUD) will hold an election to allow for an increase of the cap on the Operation & Maintenance Tax (O&M).
An increase in the tax cap from 5 cents to 11 cents does not mean SHMUD will adopt a tax rate of 11 cents; it is simply the maximum tax rate that the Board could adopt, if needed. The Board of SHMUD reviews and adopts its tax rate each year in September after adopting a budget sufficient to meet the needs of SHMUD. The Board anticipates that if the tax rate does increase to sufficiently cover the District’s current O&M costs, as its coffers are replenished, the tax may be be lowered in later years.
As you are aware, the proposed annexation of Shady Hollow by the City of Austin was prevented. As a result, SHMUD has returned to providing water and wastewater service to the residents of SHMUD as of March 27, 2021.
SHMUD spent down its cash reserves so that the City of Austin would not receive a windfall from the capture of the accumulated reserves upon annexation. The SHMUD is presently cash poor because of this defensive action. SHMUD must now rebuild these cash reserves for repairs, emergencies and the everyday operation of its water and wastewater facilities.
Repairs to the water and wastewater system occur regularly yet unexpectedly. A break in a line to an individual home can cost more than $4,000 per incident. A lift station failure can cost between $25,000 and $100,000 and SHMUD operates 5 of these lift stations to move wastewater through the system.
Election Day is Saturday, May 1st. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Early voting begins Monday, April 19th and ends on Tuesday, April 27th. Travis County’s Election Web Page provides times and locations for early voting. Travis County has authorized countywide voting on Election Day, which means that voters can vote at any election location provided by Travis County on Election Day. A link to Travis County’s Election Web Page can be found on the SHMUD website.