Oped: Affordability in Austin is about more than just the tax rate



Your City Council just passed a budget that balances our critical needs with affordability. We cut your electric bills and your property tax rate, and next year we will have the lowest rate of increase in combined taxes and fees in many years. This budget bends the cost curve. We have more work to do, but we are finally headed in the right direction.

On property taxes, this council created and then this year raised the homestead exemption. For the second year in a row, we raised the senior and disabled property tax exemption, and next year the median senior or disabled homeowner will pay less in Austin property taxes than four years ago — even with rising home values. We’re taking an increasingly smaller bite out of a bigger pie.

So, we cut your tax rate, increase the homestead and senior exemption and lower utility rates — does Austin feel more affordable?

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