Corrected flyers to be sent after inaccurate mailer about senior tax protections

A picture of the Travis Forward flyer sent to voters. (Photo sent by KXAN viewer)
A picture of the Travis Forward flyer sent to voters. (Photo sent by KXAN viewer)

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A political action group is now sending corrected versions of a flyer campaigning for Travis County bonds after they realized their initial flyers were inaccurate.

The PAC, “Travis Forward,” which is advocating for the passage of propositions A and B, told KXAN in an email statement Thursday, “Regrettably, our information was inaccurate and we apologize to the community.”

KXAN learned of the flyers after multiple residents who questioned their accuracy and why the mailers placed emphasis on senior citizens.

The flyers depict senior citizens and maintain that the Travis County propositions will not raise taxes.

The line which received the most criticism reads: “If you are 65 or older, your property taxes are frozen.”

According to the Travis County Tax Assessor Bruce Elfant, that line is not completely true. Senior citizens in Travis County do receive some tax exemptions. But while seniors are exempt from increases in school taxes, other taxes are not frozen.

Elfant said that whether taxes increase as a result of the county bonds will depend on the decisions county leadership makes in the future.

“So I understand the confusion, but we would encourage all the campaigns to check all their stuff internally, with experts before they send it out, we would have been happy to look at it before they sent it out,” Elfant said of the Travis Forward mailer.

Travis Forward added: “It is true that, because of the exemption offered by the county, many seniors will see little or no impact on their taxes, but it is not true that the propositions’ combined estimated tax impact of $24 a year would not be felt in any way by homeowners over 65.”

Travis Forward will send out a new, corrected flyer to all 12,000 households which received the inaccurate copies.

Elfant said there are other exemptions for seniors in Travis County as well. Seniors receive a homestead exemption which is 20 percent off of the value of their home. Then once that is calculated, those senior residents have $80,000 subtracted off of the value of their property before their final taxes are calculated.

Elfant encourages anyone who has questions about what tax exemptions they are eligible for to contact the appraisal district.

Regardless of how citizens feel about the bond, Elfant wants them to vote. He note that as of Wednesday about 1 percent of the population had turned out to vote.

“It would be tragic if 10 percent of the voters determine the outcome of these propositions and bonds and 90 percent sat on the sidelines, that’s not how democracy is supposed to work,” he said.

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