Having your own house to call home is often an aspiration a lot of people aim for and consider a milestone for success. It greatly helps to have your need for shelter covered by something you paid for through hard work. On top of the many comforts a home can provide, homeowners often find themselves with many expenses that greatly affect the sustainability and affordability of homeownership. When you’re living in a city like Austin, Texas, it helps to be properly informed on what you can expect to pay for when it comes to your property taxes.
What Is It Like Living in Austin?
The culture in Austin, Texas is deeply rooted in the many multi-generational families that have lived their lives within the city. It owes its unique charm to its citizens, both those residing here and those who have come and gone.
With the rapid growth of the city, it has become a challenge to keep up with the financial demands of maintaining a home and the cost of living. Homeowners may find themselves pressured by real estate investors to relocate to a different neighborhood or even feel the strain that comes with maintaining or upgrading their home to make it a more sustainable place to live in.
Property Tax Rates
The state of Texas has some of the highest property tax rates in the country, ranking 3rd in the percentage of property value and 14th in median property tax. This is somewhat mitigated by relatively low sales taxes and the lack of state income taxes, which allow for a more affordable cost of living. This is because property taxes are being utilized as the main source of revenue to fund public services such as emergency responders, educational institutions, healthcare services, and road development.
Austin itself is within the highest in Texas when it comes to the property tax rate, with the median property taxes paid coming to around $6600 annually. Note, however, that you can still get tax breaks and other benefits when you have solar or wind-powered energy devices on your property in order to lighten the financial load.
The Pandemic Effect
With the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic still causing concern all over the world, the government of Austin, Texas has made some adjustments in order to try and make the city affordable and sustainable for its constituents while still generating revenue to keep public services running.
Currently, they are examining the potential impacts of increasing the rate of property tax by 8% in order to account for the losses due to the pandemic. To soften the blow to taxpayers, they have approved support for guaranteed income as well as allowing people with disabilities and those 65 years and older to take up to $113,000 off the appraised value of their home to lower the property tax they need to pay.
With these things in mind, whether as a longtime resident or a new homeowner moving into Austin, Texas, making a rough estimate for the cost of living and the necessary adjustments should help you manage your finances accordingly.