New homestead exemption part of budget proposal

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin City Council is working on next year’s budget.

Part of the proposal is a new homestead exemption to lower costs for homeowners with skyrocketing taxes.

Housing costs in Austin have gone up an average of 85 percent over the last decade, which means you’re paying more in property taxes, too.

A homestead exemption would cut some of those costs, but there’s problem: State law says it must be set as a percentage of the home value. That means people with more expensive homes would get a bigger break.

In the past, Council urged state lawmakers to allow “flat exemptions” — which would concentrate benefits on lower- and middle-income homeowners. But that’s not an option right now.

The Austin City Council planned to tackle that issue Thursday, but opted to wait until next week’s meeting.

This is the first of several meetings before Council members vote on a final budget in September.

Other budget highlights include a tax decrease of 2.2 cents in the tax rate. However, city officials estimate the typical resident will pay an additional $12 in fees. That includes an average $4.67 increase in Austin Energy bills and a $2.62 increase in AWU bills. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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