Hutto City Council approves first reading of senior tax exemption

The first ordinance reading calls for a $60,000 tax exemption for Hutto residents age 65 and older. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
The first ordinance reading calls for a $60,000 tax exemption for Hutto residents age 65 and older. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

The first ordinance reading calls for a $60,000 tax exemption for Hutto residents age 65 and older. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

Hutto City Council approved the first ordinance reading of a $60,000 senior homestead tax exemption at council’s March 5 meeting. Council voted 5-0 in favor of the motion, with Council Member Peter Gordon and Mayor Pro Tem Tom Hines absent from the meeting.

Under the proposed exemption, residents age 65 and older with a homestead in the city will have $60,000 removed from their homestead’s total taxable value to reflect in a lower city tax bill. The exemptions will go into effect for fiscal year 2020-21’s budget and tax rate.

Dozens of residents were present at council’s March 5 meeting, wearing red to represent their affiliation with the Senior Watch of Hutto organization. Ten residents spoke before council, strongly advocating for the implementation of both a senior homestead exemption and a tax ceiling.

Ida Weaver, a Hutto resident over age 65, asked for council to “heed the call” of senior residents who are still grappling with the effects of the FY 2019-20 tax rate increase.

“Hutto seniors are swimming upstream, trying to keep our heads up water with the tax rate wrapped around our ankles,” Weaver said.


According to a presentation delivered by Michel Sorrell, chief financial officer of the city, each $10,000 in homestead tax exemptions results in an estimated $8.85 million loss in taxable value and a city revenue impact of nearly $56,000. When applied to the $60,000 exemption, that would result in an estimated $53.1 million loss in taxable value and a city revenue impact of roughly $335,000.

Council initially floated the idea of a $56,000 senior tax exemption following reports provided by Williamson County Tax Assessor-Collector Larry Gaddes to Council Member Mike Snyder that this would roughly equate to seniors’ property tax bills prior to FY 2019-20’s tax rate hike.

The ordinance approved on first reading, per its language, applied only to residents age 65 and older and will come back to council’s next meeting for its second and final reading. Two separate ordinances, specifically for a disabled persons tax exemption and a tax ceiling, will come before council for first ordinance readings at its next meeting.

“It really breaks my heart to know how hard it’s been on you guys,” Council Member Patti Martinez said following council’s vote. “I hope that this more than makes up for what’s happened in the past.”


MOST RECENT

The San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter is set to begin renovations Oct. 25. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter to begin renovations

City Council approved $240,000 for renovations to the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter.

Fitness studio Body20 is coming soon to Bee Cave's Hill Country Galleria. (Courtesy Giant Noise Public Relations)
New fitness studio, candy pop-up shop coming to Hill Country Galleria

A new candy pop-up shop and fitness studio are coming to Bee Cave's Hill Country Galleria.

The amended version of the planned development unit will now go to the Austin Planning Commission for review. (Rendering courtesy Austin Environmental Commission)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Austin commission OKs development plan near Lady Bird Lake; shopping center coming to Porter and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 15.

person on snowy road
Federal report finds more work is needed to prevent power outages during future winter storms

The report lists 28 steps states can take to prepare for the next winter storm.

The Stix Icehouse is readying to open in McKinney. (Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: 14-acre McKinney beer garden announces grand opening dates; Conroe ISD sees declining COVID-19 cases and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 4.

The 17,000-square-foot Marktplatz building to be used for Wurstfest ended up being about a $12 million investment. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Wurstfest to return for 60th festival; TikTok trend alarms Round Rock ISD and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 1.

The 17,000-square-foot facility ended up being about a $12 million investment. (Community Imapct Newspaper)
Two years in the making: Wurstfest prepares for 60th festival after completing new facility

As area nonprofits and the Wurstfest Association prepare for the upcoming festival, Community Impact Newspaper takes a look back at the construction of the new Marktplatz building that began in late 2019.

Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said Sept. 23 though the district has been awarded emergency funding, it has only had access to a fraction of it. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD superintendent lays out barriers to receiving emergency funding

Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said while it seems that the district has received "millions and millions," it has been able to use a fraction of granted emergency funds.