KVUE: Steve Adler on affordability, property taxes

ADLER: “I think that was a really good chart that you showed. Everybody knows property taxes are rising, we all feel that but what that chart shows that in Austin property taxes is 44 cents. Other major cities range from 55 cents to 86 cents. Austin has one of the lowest if not the lowest tax rates of major cities but everybody’s still feeling property taxes going up and it is. In the last five years property taxes for the median homeowner have gone up $1,400. But what people don’t realize is that over $1,000 of that is the state property tax. It’s the state taking our local property taxes away. Our school district gets less in absolute dollars today than they got five years ago. Four years ago the state got a third, their take of local property tax dollars was a third of what the city of Austin got. Three years ago it went to a half and this year will be the first that the state of Texas takes more local property tax dollars away than the city of Austin gets.”

KVUE: “I know this is at the state level but how do we fix that?”

ADLER: “That is a state issue. It is the state that is taxing us in an out of control way. You know, they’re focused on the city of Austin about 2%, 3% they’re talking about doing a cap which will result in a $2 a month savings, it’s not property tax relief. If the state legislature really wanted to do something to help us with property taxes since they’re the cause of two thirds of our tax increases in this area, they have to fix the school finance system. That’s the only thing people want them to do all over the state and it’s the one thing they are just not doing this session.”