As part of a budget that will increase health care delivery expenses by more than $137 million over the next year, Central Health is raising its property tax rate for its 2021-22 fiscal year.

Central Health will levy a total tax rate of 11.1814 cents per $100 valuation to support its budget, according to documents from the health care district. That rate is up from 11.0306 cents per $100 valuation in the 2020-21 fiscal year budget.

The increased tax rate will result in a tax bill increase of about $40 for the average homestead property owner, according to Central Health estimates. This is the second straight year Central Health has increased its property tax rate.

At its Aug. 23 board meeting, Central Health managers approved the tax rate increase and the related 2021-22 FY budget in a preliminary vote. A final vote on the budget and tax rate will take place Sept. 9 before Travis County commissioners finally approve the Central Health budget on Sept. 21.

Lisa Owens, deputy chief financial officer for Central Health, said at the Aug. 23 meeting the health care district adjusted its homestead exemptions for residents over 65 years of age and residents with disabilities in order to lessen the burden of the estimated tax bill increases The homestead exemption now goes up to $100,000—up $15,000 from the previous fiscal year budget.

“We do estimate that will provide significant relief on that tax bill,” Owens said.

Travis and Williamson county residents will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the budget before the final votes take place. Central Health is hosting an online “Community Conversation” on Aug. 26 beginning at 11:30 a.m. Residents can find a link to that event here. An official public hearing for next year’s budget and tax rate is scheduled for Sept. 2, as well.