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Gallo to rework property value freeze resolution

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

City Council Member Sheri Gallo indicated during Tuesday’s Council work session that she plans to propose an amended, milder version of a resolution she sponsored on Thursday’s agenda related to the taxable values of homesteads for seniors and people with disabilities. As currently drafted, the resolution would direct the city manager to implement a freeze on the taxable values in question based on the 2015 tax roll as authorized by Texas Tax Code. Such a measure would be irrevocable once implemented and could result in forgone city property tax revenue starting in fiscal year 2016-2017 if property values continue to rise. Suzie Chase, Gallo’s constituent liaison, later confirmed with the Austin Monitor that the redrafted resolution would direct the city manager to “provide a report on her proposal at an upcoming budget work session or Council briefing,” rather than implement the freeze. Both Mayor Steve Adler and Council Member Leslie Pool — a co-sponsor — said they would like to see Council more comprehensively vet the idea before taking action on it. Deputy Chief Financial Officer Ed Van Eenoo said Council has a more flexible timeline for considering such a proposal, as opposed to the strict timeline associated with implementing a homestead property tax exemption, and indicated that there would be time for further discussion.

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