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Commissioners Court moves toward maximum tax rate

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 by Jack Craver

The Travis County Commissioners Court took the first step toward implementing raising the maximum revenue allowed under state law. The court voted 3-0 (Commissioners Jeff Travillion and Gerald Daugherty were absent) to notify the public (through statutorily required newspaper advertisements) that the budget it plans to approve later this month will increase the “effective maintenance and operating tax rate” by 8 percent. Under current state law, that is the maximum increase allowed without running the risk of a voter-initiated “rollback election” to reduce the tax increase. The step the court took on Tuesday does not commit it to going all the way up to 8 percent, but most of the commissioners have indicated that is what they plan to do. It has been many years since the county has gone all the way to the rollback rate, but this year commissioners are doing so in order to maximize revenue before a new state law kicks in next year that will limit annual property tax growth to 3.5 percent without voter approval for a higher rate. With an 8 percent increase, the average county homeowner with a $347,655 homestead will pay $126 more in county taxes than last year.

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