AUSTIN (KXAN) — The city says annexing six tracts of land in Travis County makes sense. The land could become part of Austin, which would lead to a boost in taxes for people living in the area.
The Austin Planning and Zoning Department is hosting a public hearing on the matter Thursday. For months, city planners watched developers and home builders snap up land in Northeast Travis County and in the southern part of the county, near the Hays County border.
The tracts include:
- Wells Branch Parkway at the intersection of Immanuel Road and Crystal Bend Drive
- A section of Interstate 35 and Slaughter Lane
- A part of West Slaughter Lane and Slaughter Creek Drive
- Manchaca Road and Mooreland Drive
- Intersection of Frate Barker Road and Manchaca Road
- East Howard Lane and Cantarra Drive
“A lot of the city’s annexation program is following the new development,” said Virginia Collier, a principal planner with Austin. “It’s not that we’re saying ‘what goes where’ or ‘what’s building where?’ Developers are already out there snapping up land and making plans.”
If approved, more than 400 acres and nearly 1,300 existing and planned homes and condos will be added onto the city’s service area. That could put a strain on the city’s fire and police departments, which are already stretched thin and understaffed. But, Collier said one of the first things her office did was reached out to these departments to make sure they could handle the extra load.
An annexation would mean a boost in the tax rate for homeowners living in those areas, which sit five miles within the city’s borders in a extraterritorial jurisdiction or ETJ for short.
Collier said a homeowner could easily determine their new tax rate.
“Properties that are in the city’s limit are in the city’s tax roll,” Collier said. “Somebody who has a house in the ETJ might be able to estimate what their city taxes would be based on the value of their home.”
The city council will make a final decision on the annexation in December.