Senior and disabled homeowners will likely be able to take off an additional $30,000 of property value for their next tax bills following a City Council vote to raise the local homestead exemption, a move designed to keep taxes flat for that portion of Austin's population.

The setup

In Texas, some of the value of residents' primary residence can be reduced for taxing purposes under the homestead exemption.

Local entities, such as cities and school districts, have the option to further cut a property's taxable value. In Austin, officials have voted through recent years to expand the local homestead exemption as allowed by state law.

The city's homestead exemption was expanded across the board for all taxpayers in 2021, while council has also approved greater increases for senior and disabled homeowners. Travis County leaders have moved to reduce the tax for those county residents as well.

What's happening

Austin's senior and disabled homestead exemption is expected to be raised from $124,000 to $154,000 on May 30. The increase of nearly one-fourth would apply for the 2024 tax year, tempering taxes for qualifying Austinites.

City financial staff project the median home owned by disabled or senior residents will be assessed at $520,835 in the upcoming fiscal year—a more than $35,000 annual increase. Using Austin's general homestead exemption plus the newly increased senior and disabled exemption, city taxes would only apply for $262,668 of that median-valued home, slightly less than this fiscal year.

Nonsenior homeowners could see about a $100 increase on their next property tax bills given rising home appraisals coupled with the cost of covering that revised senior homestead exemption.

What else?

Property tax relief for older and disabled Austinites may continue on a regular basis. Council is also considering a new mandate to review and take similar actions every spring to "provide equivalent property tax relief" year to year.

Eligible Austin homeowners can apply for the exemption or check their status through the central appraisal districts in Travis, Williamson and Hays counties.

The city's tax rate for fiscal year 2023-24 is $0.4458 per $100 valuation. Officials will work through the coming months to set the FY 2024-25 tax rate and budget plan.