New tax rate approved for Travis County

The Travis County Commissioners Court unanimously approved the new tax rate for the county during its Oct. 6 meeting.

The approved order set a total tax rate of $0.4169 per $100 of taxable valuation for the fiscal year 2015-16. The tax rate is divided into the maintenance and operations rate, which is $0.3486 per $100 of taxable valuation, and the debt service rate, which is $0.0683 per $100 of taxable valuation.

The new tax rate is nearly four cents lower than the current tax rate of $0.4563 per $100 of taxable value, which will result in a decrease of about 79 cents on the average taxable homestead, said Jessica Rio, county executive for planning and budget.

A taxpayer impact statement is available online for those who are interested, she said. Rio explained the new tax rate is increasing compared with the effective tax rate, which is a calculated rate that would give the taxing unit approximately the same amount of revenue it received in the previous year on properties taxed in both years, not including additional tax revenue resulting from new construction.

“I do want folks to know our colleagues over at the city [of Austin] did manage a steeper decrease than this year, but that’s because they just [recently] instituted a decrease in their homestead exemption,” Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said.

The county held three public hearings on the tax rate. Eckhardt thanked staffers and members of the commissioners court for their input and “mindful budgeting” resulting in the new tax rate’s development.

The commissioners court approved Travis County's $951.3 million budget at its Sept. 29 meeting.