Proposed Travis County budget would hike average tax bill by $46
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel
Next year’s tax bills would be $46 higher for the average homeowner, an increase of about $3.83 per month, according to the preliminary Fiscal Year 2015 Travis County budget posted Monday afternoon. Overall Travis County spending is set to increase to $902 million, up from $857 million.
According to Travis County budget officials, the owners of homes of median value homes could see a $40, or $3.33 per month, increase. The average taxable value of all homesteads within the county would increase from $222,581 in FY 2014 to $240,434 under the preliminary budget. That’s an 8 percent increase. The median taxable value would increase by 8.8 percent, from $165,767 in FY 2014 to $180,300.
Budget Director Jessica Rio reports this is the highest increase in median taxable property since 2002. Rio said there was some uncertainty to the preliminary budget process this year, due to a delay in receiving the net taxable value from the Travis Central Appraisal District.
Because of potential county and city commercial property valuation protests (which were not approved), TCAD had to postpone its certification of appraised values, usually available in July, to mid-August this year. Rio also said the Planning and Budget Office and the county auditor believe that the delayed information will not significantly change the calculated tax rates and budget estimates.
The preliminary budget’s tax rate, 47.72 cents per $100 of taxable value, is set 3.5 percent lower than the current tax rate of 49.46 cents and 1.5 percent above the effective tax rate of 47.02. Effective tax rates decrease if property values rise — as they have done this year — and increase if property values fall. The overall FY 2015 preliminary budget would increase from $857,104,363 in FY 2014 to $901,728,301, a $44,623,938 increase.
Travis County Commissioner’s Court will hold budget hearings after an Aug. 11 briefing from the Planning and Budget Office. The proposed budget will be filed in mid-September and take effect Oct. 1. Public hearings on the proposed tax rate and budget will take place Sept.16, 19 and 23.
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