Austin Property Tax Relief

tax-739107_1280-620x365(Community Matters) I’m seeing postings against property tax relief.

It’s the families who most need the tax break that this is about – those for whom property taxes constitute a much higher percentage of their annual income. They aren’t all old, or elderly, or east side families, they also include a lot of middle class families with kids making $50k, $75k, $100k, even $125k per year. We’d all prefer to cap exemption at $500k value but that’s not an option. in the interim, voters overwhelmingly want property tax relief – according to the recent zandan poll: 80% of Austin residents support a 20% homestead exemption, 83% of Austin residents who have voted in the last 4 years (79% from the broader polled universe). Affordability is a growing concern – 86% of the poll’s respondents fear Austin is at risk of losing its appeal because of the rising cost of living. The proposal to launch w/ a 6% exemption “setting a 6 percent exemption at the rollback rate of 48.24 cents would cost the city budget nothing, reduce the median homestead tax burden by $49 per year and potentially increase the rent of the average apartment by $6.31 per year and the average single-family home by $15.93 per year.”

I don’t disagree we need to help renters too. Perfection is too often the enemy of good. Just because this step doesn’t accomplish both doesn’t mean we shouldn’t proceed. Let’s look at utility fee restructure to provide relief to renters.

geez . . . listening to the voices & leadership from the past not likely to get us anywhere but where we are today (see today’s article about threat to musicians & artists of Austin). Voters overwhlemingly rejected the past and elected a new way forward. 80% of Austin citizens want a new way forward & the 20% homestead exemption.

if we always do what we’ve always done . . .

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