Leander council members approved a residential homestead exemption June 3 for all Leander homeowners as property values rise across the area.

Leander City Council approved an exemption of $5,000 or 1%, whichever is greater.

This exemption would save the average Leander homeowner about $30 in city property taxes based on the current rate. Leander Finance Director Robert Powers said the exemption would impact city tax revenue by about $400,000.

Leander has 13,482 residential homesteads totaling over $5 billion in value with a $373,213 average value, according to city documents.

The tax exemption would take $5,000 or 1% off a home's appraised value. Property taxes will be calculated from the reduced value.

Cities and counties can adopt residential tax exemptions, per state law, Powers said. The state minimum is a $5,000 or 1% exemption. Leander currently has an exemption for individuals 65 and older and for disabled homeowners. This is a $10,000 exemption and a property tax freeze.

A 2% exemption was considered by the council, but the motion’s vote failed 3-3. Council unanimously granted the 1% exemption. Kathryn Pantalion-Parker said she would like the city to go up to 2% because it would not put the city in a bind. Council Members Jason Shaw and Annette Sponseller also voted for the 2% change.

Williamson County commissioners voted May 25 to extend the property tax exemption for individuals age 65 and older and disabled individuals and add an exemption for homeowners. The homestead exemption is 1.5% or $5,000, whichever is greater.

Correction: Leander City Council approved an exemption of $5,000 or 1%, whichever is greater.