There is good news for Austin homeowners! Austin city council has unanimously voted to increase the city’s homestead exemption to 20 percent, doubling it from its previous 10 percent, to reach the state’s maximum amount allowed. What this means is that properties will only be taxed at 80 percent of their value, as opposed to the previous 90 percent.
Additionally, the council voted to raise the senior (over 65) and people with disabilities homestead exemption up by $25,000. This change is a flat rate, bringing the exemption rate up from $88,000 to $113,000. This amount is deducted from the home’s appraised value, and taxes are determined based on the new value.
Help is also on the way for renters. The council also approved $25 million of direct rent assistance to low income residents who have been impacted by COVID-19 as part of their Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program. It can help renters pay back up to 15 months of rent from as far back as April 2020 to up to three months in the future. For more information on eligibility and how to apply, visit https://austintexas.gov/rent.
These changes come on the heels of Austin’s housing affordability crisis and aim to help out existing homeowners and renters who are struggling to keep up with growing prices. Job growth, relocations, and high demand have created critical inventory shortages which further highlight the affordability and accessibility to housing that is plaguing the city.