AUSTIN, Texas — Travis County commissioners on Tuesday voted to delay a measure to help residents with some property tax bill savings.
Item 16 on the agenda would change the homestead exemption for people with disabilities or people who are 65 and older. Currently, the exemption for these groups is $85,500. The change would increase it to $100,000.
County estimates indicate that these homeowners would save about $54 on the County portion of their property tax bill.
The last adjustment to the exemption was in fiscal year 2019, according to county documents. The change would only affect the Travis County portion of a property tax bill, which accounts for about 14.8% of the total tax bill.
Earlier this month, the Austin City Council approved two changes to the homestead exemption: One that increased the homestead tax exemption rate from 10% to 20% – the maximum allowed under state law. The other changed the homestead exemption from $88,000 to $113,000 for people with disabilities or who are 65 and older.
“It’s a tough situation for a lot of property owners that they see their market values go up. And we're hearing a lot from people about the affordability of housing in Austin,” said Marya Crigler, chief appraiser at the Travis Central Appraisal District.
When the council approved the change to the City’s portion of the tax bill, leaders expressed concern over rising property values in Austin.
"There are many neighborhoods in my district that people are on fixed incomes or their home prices have skyrocketed over the years, including this past year in particular. And there are many, many folks that need this particular type of relief," Councilmember Paige Ellis (District 8) said.
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