Home Personal Finance Property Tax Exemption from Austin Raised Further for Seniors, Disabled Homeowners

Property Tax Exemption from Austin Raised Further for Seniors, Disabled Homeowners

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Austin homeowners over 65 years or those with a disability won’t see an increase in their property tax bill next year. The city council recently approved raising the property tax exemption from Austin for seniors and those with a disability. The objective is to limit further the amount of money that residents pay taxes on.

The property tax exemption from Austin

The Austin City Council approved an ordinance that will take off $154,000 of a home’s appraised value, compared to the current $124,000 exemption, from the property tax calculation for homeowners over 65 or with a disability. Before the $124,000 amount, the exemption was $113,000.

These homeowners will now deduct $154,000 from their property value, but before that, they will have to apply for the city’s 20% general homestead exemption. The new property tax exemption from Austin will apply to this year’s tax bills, which usually go out at the end of the year.

In 2024, the median value of a home for a senior or disabled homeowner is $485,573, and the value is estimated to go up to $520,835 next year, according to data from the finance office. If there is no change in the homestead exemption, homeowners with a median value would have to pay $126.05 extra in annual property tax.

With the new property tax exemption from Austin, the tax bill will actually drop by $1, according to a memo from the city’s finance office. An increase in the exemption would impact other homeowners as well, who are expected to pay about $10 more annually on their property tax bill.

Since the increased homestead exemption was approved before the city calculates the official voter-approval tax rate for fiscal 2025, the exemption won’t impact the city’s total projected property tax revenue.

Raising the exemption is part of the bigger picture

Austin has steadily increased its homestead exemption for seniors and those with disabilities since 2017. The exemption amount has almost doubled in the past seven years. Though the state law limits other exemptions, there is no cap on the amount to help seniors and people with disabilities save money from being taxed.

Austin Mayor Kirk Watson introduced the homestead exemption ordinance. In his online newsletter, Watson talked about how the exemption fits into the bigger picture of how the city is working to address the affordability issue.

“Controlling how much the City charges you in taxes and fees is another area where we can make a difference…. By raising the exemption to $154,000, up from $124,000 now, we will hold the annual City tax bill flat for these homeowners who are living on a fixed income,” Watson said in his newsletter published late last month.

An amendment from Council Member Ryan Alter was also included in the ordinance.

In a post, Alter said the amendment “would set the senior & disabled tax exemption at a level that holds those households harmless based on the prior year’s change in median home price and property tax rate (just as we are doing this year).”

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Aman Jain
Personal Finance Writer

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