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Austin Texas Property Taxes - Why do they seem so high?

I get questions about our property tax rates frequently, so I figured it might be a good idea to write this post as a resource that I can use when this comes up again in the future.  I had an email today from a prospective buyer who was "appalled" by our property taxes and was considering turning down his employer's Austin-area job offer for this very reason.


One of the main reasons that our property taxes seem high to those who are relocating from many other states is the fact that Texas has NO STATE INCOME TAX.  As such, our school districts (among the best in the country), public services, and city and county governments are funded primarily through property tax.  For years, over half of our business consisted of buyers who were moving here from California.  Almost all of them said that they were better off from a tax perspective once the state income tax portion was removed by coming to our state.


School taxes, which make up the majority of the tax rate, are frozen for you once you reach age 65.  There are other benefits for over-65 home buyers, which can be found here:


http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax/tx96_295/home.html


 

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