100% Travis County Property Tax Exemption Approved for Childcare Providers

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Qualifying childcare providers in Travis County, Texas, will now be eligible for a 100% property tax exemption. The Travis County property tax exemption will be a major relief for childcare providers, especially when federal relief funding for childcare providers is set to expire later this year. The federal funding allowed childcare providers to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Travis County property tax exemption: who will get it and how to apply

Travis County officials, in a bid to offset the rising cost of childcare, have approved a 100% property tax exemption for qualifying childcare centers starting in the 2024 tax year.

Childcare access has been a concern for Travis County officials with thousands of children on waitlists for subsidized care. Apart from offering direct benefits to eligible childcare providers, the 100% property tax exemption will also have several indirect benefits. For instance, it will encourage childcare providers to extend their services to more working parents.

The move from Travis County follows a constitutional amendment approved by Texas voters last year, allowing municipalities and counties to offer property tax exemption to qualifying childcare centers. 

To claim the Travis County property tax exemption, property owners need to submit an application (Form 50-844) to the Travis Central Appraisal District. The last date to apply for the exemption is April 30. Applicants can apply online, mail the application to P.O. Box 149012; Austin, TX 78714-9012, or email the application to [email protected].

For more information on the Travis County property tax exemption, including eligibility and requirements, contact the Travis Central Appraisal District by calling (512) 834-9317 or visit its website.

Other counties with similar exemptions

On Tuesday, Harris County also unanimously approved a 100% property tax exemption for eligible childcare facilities. Presently, 327 childcare providers are expected to qualify for property tax exemptions.

The exemption equals 100% of the appraised value for qualifying childcare facilities for the 2024 and 2025 tax years. It must be noted that the exemption doesn’t apply to property taxes collected by the county’s Flood Control District, Hospital District and the Port of Houston Authority.

To qualify for the exemption, childcare facilities must participate in the Texas Workforce Commission’s Texas Rising Star Program. Also, the facilities must maintain at least 20% enrollment of children who receive subsidies through the Texas Workforce Commission. Childcare centers will have to submit documents to prove that they meet the requirements.

Property owners who lease their property to another person for operating a childcare facility, won’t be allowed to claim the exemption. Visit the program’s website to get more information on the requirements and application process.

Last week, the Houston City Council also approved an ordinance to offer 100% property tax exemption to qualifying childcare providers. It is estimated that more than 270 facilities in Houston can qualify for the exemption. Further, the county estimates the exemption could save eligible childcare centers $2,800 on average.