Property Taxes

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin City Council approved a record $4.2 billion budget Tuesday, directing more money toward services for people who are homeless and to hire more police officers.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin City Council voted unanimously Thursday to add 400 properties along Lake Austin onto the city’s tax rolls.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law one of lawmakers' biggest achievements this year, a massive overhaul of Texas' long-beleaguered school finance system.

Properties along Lake Austin are exempt from city taxes.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Housing affordability is one of Austin's biggest challenges during this period of economic growth. Even after someone buys a home or rents property, as the value of that property goes up, so does the annual tax bill. But some of the most desirable homes in Austin – a few hundred right on Lake Austin – are not subject to any city property taxes.

That might be about to change.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

"I think the bright spots weren't so much affirmative bright spots as that we avoided some bad things," Austin Mayor Steve Adler says of the 2019 Texas legislative session, which wrapped up Monday.

Julia Reihs / KUT

The Texas Legislature usually finds a theme that emerges during the 140-day session. Two years ago, many people would call it the session of the “bathroom bill.” Even though an effort to restrict restroom access for the state’s transgender population did not become law, the debate around the subject took up much of the oxygen under the dome.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

The Texas Legislature on Sunday advanced a $250.7 billion two-year budget, ending weeks of deliberation over how much money to spend on the 2019 legislative session’s two highest priorities: public school funding and property tax relief.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

A sweeping property tax reform bill that aims to slow rising property tax growth will soon head to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk for approval, capping a yearslong effort to address a pocketbook issue that has animated Republican leaders and angered their voters.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Property owners in and around Austin who want to protest their tax appraisal have until May 15 to do it. If you’re a little confused about how to launch an appeal once you get your appraisal in the mail, you’re not alone.

State Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

State Rep. Dan Huberty, the top public education leader in the Texas House, postponed two items of legislation Tuesday that would pay for long-term, ongoing school district tax cuts by raising sales taxes — effectively killing any chance of passing the legislation this year.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Showing their usual united front, the state’s “Big Three” political leaders on Friday tried to remake their case for why the Texas Legislature should deliver on long-term, ongoing property tax relief before the session wraps up this month.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

As homeowners in Travis, Williamson and Hays county receive their property tax appraisals this month, it should not come as a shock to see the appraised value of their homes has gone up. Home values have climbed consistently for a decade.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Republican leadership in the Texas Legislature announced an agreement Wednesday to swap a sales tax increase with property tax cuts.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

From the campaign trail to election night victory speeches to promises in the halls of the Texas Capitol, property taxes are the top priority for lawmakers. Depending on which metric you use, the state generally ranks in the top 5 nationally for having the highest property taxes. Lawmakers say they have to do something to lower those bills.

But what is that something?

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

When the Texas Legislature reconvenes Jan. 8, lawmakers will already have on their desks bills aimed at undoing City of Austin rules.

The city-state conflict is nothing new. Last time they met in 2017, state lawmakers passed bills overturning Austin ordinances affecting ride-hailing companies, like Uber and Lyft, and passed a "sanctuary cities" bill.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Williamson County Commissioners on Tuesday approved an incentive package for Apple to develop 133 acres of ranch land into an office complex.

Apple announced plans last week to invest $1 billion to build a third complex in the Austin area; this would be the first in Williamson County.

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.

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