Property Taxes

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

On Monday, Julie Brown heard a voice beckoning her to get a piece of pie.

She listened, stopping at The Frisco on Burnet Road and ordering a piece of coconut pie – just like her parents did when they first met decades ago.

Callie Hernandez for KUT

Austin City Council members have outlined a $925 million bond to pay for items such as affordable housing, park updates and road repairs that will be put to voters in November. The bond could be paid for, in part, by raising the property tax rate.

How Does Recapture Affect School Funding In Texas?

Jun 27, 2018
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A large chunk of funding for schools in Austin comes from property taxes, and as many Austinites know, those keep going up every year.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

About 140,000 people are protesting their property appraisals this year – an all-time high, according to the Travis Central Appraisal District.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Lupe Valdez, who just this week secured the Democratic nomination for Texas governor, owes more than $12,000 in property taxes, the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday.

Photo by Jorge Sahueza-Lyon/KUT News

Audrey McGlinchy / KUT

It’s been a year of firsts for Stephanie Culver and Jonathan Brou.

In December, the couple bought their first home in Manor, 15 miles from downtown Austin.

“We couldn’t afford Austin to be honest with you,” said Culver, who bought the home with her boyfriend for about $207,000. “This was in our price range.”

Flickr/GotCredit (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

A new proposal from Republican lawmakers would cut some tax rates and overhaul portions of the U.S. tax code. House Republicans rolled out the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in Washington on Thursday.

Among the most controversial aspects of the GOP tax plan is that it lowers the mortgage interest deduction for homeowners. Current homeowners wouldn’t be affected, but new borrowers would only be able to deduct the first $500,000 – that’s down from the current limit, which is $1 million.

John Diamond, director of Rice University’s Center for Public Finance says that the mortgage deduction change could lower Texas home values by 1-2 percent.

Austin City Hall
Callie Hernandez for KUT News

Austin homeowners will pay more in property taxes and fees to the city next year under a $3.9 billion budget approved by City Council on Wednesday.

Pavel Mezihorak for KUT

The special session of the Texas Legislature began with an announcement by Gov. Greg Abbott in June, pushing — among other priorities — property tax reform. But that call to action fell short of producing a bill in the 30-day session. And no change in property tax law might be OK, because Texans may not be as overburdened by property taxes as they believe.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

A bill that would change the way cities and counties collect property taxes is moving forward in the Texas House. On Saturday, lawmakers approved Senate Bill 1 on second reading. The measure would lower the rollback rate, or the annual percent increase in property taxes, from 8 percent to 6 percent. Any increases above that would have to go to the public for a vote.

The bill’s sponsor, Representative Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, repeatedly noted that SB 1 does not aim to save taxpayers any money, but it would allow them to weigh in on some increases.

Callie Hernandez for KUT News

Austin City Council voted Wednesday to raise the maximum rate at which it can tax homeowners, as it considers a "tax swap" plan that would divert that extra money to the Austin Independent School District.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Did Travis County lower the typical homeowner’s property tax bill in the last year? It depends on how you look at it. Travis County took issue with a KUT story that said despite the county lowering its tax rate, most homeowners ended up paying more in county property taxes.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

During a recent committee hearing on a property tax bill, a state lawmaker made an unusual comment: He praised Travis County.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Legislature’s 30-day special session is moving through an ambitious agenda at a rapid-fire pace, at least in the Senate.

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott has called for a special session of the Texas Legislature to begin July 18.

"Considering all the successes of the 85th legislative session, we should not be where we are today," he said. "A special session was entirely avoidable, and there was plenty of time for the Legislature to forge compromises to avoid the time and taxpayer expense of a special session."

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

At the start of the Texas legislative session, you might have characterized the number of bills reversing City of Austin regulations as an onslaught. There were bills to undo the city’s "ban the box" rule, its plastic bag ban, the city’s ride-hailing regulations.

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Some Texas lawmakers and other officials are trying to tackle what’s seen as a problem with property taxes. The Texas Senate Select Property Tax Reform and Relief committee is hosting a series of Road Meetings throughout the state.

KUT News

While the presidential election is getting a lot of headlines, that’s not until next year. But one of the seven amendments to the state constitution on the ballot this November could raise the state's homestead exemption and lighten the property tax load for Texas homeowners.


Veronica Zaragovia/KUT News

The City of Austin filed a lawsuit Monday against the Travis Central Appraisal District, arguing that the agency significantly undervalued Austin’s commercial and vacant properties in its assessments for the past several years. Mayor Steve Adler announced the suit today at a press conference, where he appeared along with Travis Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler of TCAD. 

flickr.com/alancleaver

Own some property in Travis County? Want to know how it's taxed?

Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler and Tax Assessor-Collector Bruce Elfant are hosting a series of property tax forums.

The Travis County tax officials will present information about the appraisal process, exemptions and deferrals, payment plans and the deadlines that all those paying property tax should know. They will also be available to answer questions.

Wells Dunbar, KUT News

Later this month, Travis County mails out 2012 property tax bills to homeowners. Those bills will be bigger than last year, but not by much. Tax rates have gone up, but those rates are applied to lower property values than in 2011, dampening some of the tax rate increases.

According to Marya Crigler, chief appraiser for the Travis Central Appraisal District, the average home in Travis County is appraised at $213,954, a .47 percent decrease from 2011. In the City of Austin, the average home's assessment declined .76 percent, to $251,458. So, a home that was worth $250,000 in 2011 is worth $248,100 in 2012, for taxing purposes. Appraisals are based roughly on market value.

While assessed values were down, most taxing authorities raised their tax rates for 2012. Here's a look at tax increases across the board, to the five entities Austin residents pay tax to: 

Liang Shi for KUT News

Today marks 11 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks. Here's information on remembrance events and other stories making news today:

Local 9/11 Memorial Events

There are several events scheduled today across Central Texas to mark the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

At 10 a.m., Austin firefighters will climb the Pleasant Valley Drill Tower. Wearing full gear, they’ll climb up and down the equivalent of the height of the World Trade Center.

At noon, there will be a 9-11 Memorial and pipe and drum performance in the Texas Capitol Rotunda.

Photo courtesy Jason Thompson via the Please BE KIND to Cyclists Facebook page

Texas State University Celebrates Move to the Sun Belt Conference

Texas State University is holding a reception for students today to mark the upcoming move to the Sun Belt Conference. The reception will give students an opportunity to meet and visit with head coaches and athletic administrators to discuss the move.

Texas State University President Denise Trauth announced yesterday that the university will join the Sun Belt Conference in 2013-2014 season.

Right now, eleven schools participate in the Sun Belt Conference. Georgia State will also join the conference in 2013. Texas State and Georgia State will join Arkansas State, Arkansas-Little Rock, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, UL-Lafayette, UL-Monroe, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, South Alabama, Troy and Western Kentucky.

Photo by Erika Aguilar, KUT News

Was your home obliterated by wildfires this year? If the answer is "yes," Travis County and Pflugerville ISD say they will “grant property tax relief. ”  In other words, they won’t tax you for something that no longer exists.

Well, sort of.

You will have to pay tax on 18 percent of the home’s value, if it was burned down to the foundation. You also have to pay tax on the land. The discount is calculated according to the number of days your home existed before it was razed by nature’s wrath.

Bouldin creek cottage
Image coutesy Zanthan http://www.flickr.com/photos/zanthan/

The Travis County Tax Office wants you to know you can pay your property tax bill as late as January 3 and still get a December receipt. That's important to people who want to claim their property tax as a deduction on their 2010 tax return.

"That's because we are closed on the last day of this month, December 31st," tax office spokesperson Tina Morton told KUT News. "By law, when the deadline falls on a business day and we're closed, it automatically moves to the next business day."