Austin may file challenge of commercial property appraisals

Unknown Object

The city of Austin is currently deciding to file a challenge regarding commercial property appraisals.

Austin City Council will decide May 28 in time to meet the June 1 filing deadline. City staff told council members during a May 19 work session that commercial properties in Austin had been appraised for 41 percent below value.

Should the challenge be filed and the commercial properties appraisals increase by 41 percent as predicted by city staff, council members have indicated a desire to use that extra revenue to provide tax breaks for homeowners and renters.

Such a challenge could cause issues during Austin's ongoing 2015-16 budget process and could also affect surrounding communities. Because the appraisal review process would not be complete by the time budget talks begin, the budget would operate on estimated revenue and a property tax rate could not be set, said Ed Van Eenoo, Austin's deputy chief financial officer.

Council members from Round Rock and Cedar Park asked Austin City Council on May 26 to not file the challenge because it would also affect both cities' ability to set a property tax rate during budget talks.

"[Filing a challenge petition] will disrupt other independent governing bodies' ability to set tax rates and collect tax revenues necessary to provide essential city services," Round Rock Mayor Pro Tem George White said in a letter to the city of Austin. "Austin's filing of a challenge petition will have a negative impact on the city of Round Rock and as many as 100 other local political subdivisions."

Payments on appraisals are due Jan. 31; however, if Austin is successful in its challenge the due date will be pushed to March 1, Eenoo said.

Other May 28 Austin City Council agenda highlights:

  • Consider amending the electric rate schedule for hospital systems.

  • Consider approving an additional $14 million for a contract to provide maintenance and a spare part to two energy stations.

  • Consider the appointment of a city auditor.

  • Consider rezoning 908 E. 15th St., 807 E. 16th St. and 1506 Waller St. from single and multifamily use to mixed-land use.

  • Council will hold its Austin Energy Committee meeting at 9 a.m. May 28 before the regularly scheduled council meeting starts at 11 a.m.



MOST RECENT

Photo of the Sobering Center
Travis County moves forward with plans for mental health diversion program at Sobering Center

The program would divert people experiencing mental health crises away from jail and towards supportive services following low-level offenses.

Baylor Scott & White Pflugerville
Ascension, Baylor Scott & White to require all employees be fully vaccinated against coronavirus by fall

Ascension and Baylor Scott & White have announced all eligible employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the coming months. 

Photo of an egg dish
Kerbey Lane Cafe serves the Austin community with 'family feeling'

Since 1980, the cafe has served up breakfast, lunch and dinner at locations around the Capital City.

Austin City Council will convene for a regular meeting July 29, its first since mid-June. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Hall notebook: Council to look at downtown safety, homelessness and budgeting in return from meetings break

The first regular council meeting since mid-June features a packed agenda and opportunity for resident feedback on Austin's proposed budget.

Photo of a hand holding a vaccine vial
As COVID-19 hospitalizations track upward, Austin Public Health renews call for vaccinations

APH also mirrors the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest guidance for vaccinated individuals to wear masks in some circumstances.

The request to table talks regarding designated campsites came one week after city staff detailed two properties that could be used for such an initiative. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Ellis, Harper-Madison call for halt to Austin's 'Band-Aid' sanctioned homeless encampment plans

The East and Southwest Austin representatives shared their thoughts on the process one week after city properties in their districts were tapped as workable encampment sites.

Photo of a woman holding a Pride flag
Austin July and August events: Bat Fest, monster trucks and Pride

A variety of in-person and virtual events are happening around Austin this summer.

Photo of a house with a "for sale" sign in the front yard
A seller’s market in Southwest Austin continues to challenge homebuyers

Local experts say a "perfect storm" of construction obstacles continue to restrict home supply.

The CDC reversed its masking guidance for fully vaccinated individuals in response to the transmissibility of the delta variant of COVID-19 in a press conference July 27. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
NEW CDC GUIDANCE: All individuals should wear masks in K-12 schools, including those who are fully vaccinated

The new CDC guidance, announced July 27, also recommends people in areas with "high" or "substantial" levels of transmission wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

Several Southwest Austin offices included thousands of square feet of space available for sublease as of early 2021. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Southwest Austin office subleasing positioned to cool off amid return to in-person work

Southwest Austin's sublease availability more than tripled from early 2019 into 2021, although the market may be shifting away from that trend as offices are reoccupied this year.

The monthslong search for Austin's new police chief is expected to wrap up before the end of August. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Search for Austin's next top cop narrows to 7 finalists; new chief to be named by end of August

Seven finalists from across the country remain in the search for Austin's next police chief, the city announced July 26.

Austin ISD will offer virtual learning options to students in kindergarten through sixth grade for the 2021-22 school year, according to a July 26 news release from the district. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Austin ISD plans to offer virtual learning for some students in 2021-22 school year

The district changed course on virtual learning after rising case counts led the local health authority to revert to Stage 4 guidelines, including wearing masks.