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RECA releases tax burden index

Friday, May 22, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano

Yesterday, the Real Estate Council of Austin released its annual tally of the tax burden on Austin families. The study found that in 2014, local taxes increased 5.5 percent, while the median income for a family of four increased 3 percent. All told, Austin families pay 9.7 percent toward local taxes. RECA calls that number “astonishing.” In a press release about the report, 2015 RECA Board Chair Michael Cooper notes that since RECA began indexing local taxes and incomes, the percentage that each family contributes has grown. “This trend, combined with rising property values caused by a lack of housing supply, conflicts with the goal of keeping Austin an affordable community,” said Cooper. “In addition to property values, setting tax rates is the most important part of the property tax equation. … Unless the local budget process and increased government spending are addressed, property taxes will continue to rise.” The combined taxes paid to the city of Austin, Travis County, Austin Community College, Central Health and Capital Metro cost the average family $7,320.98 in 2014, and the median family income was $75,200.

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