Central Texas citizens, you’ll soon get your new tax bill in the mail. How much more are your local government officials going to make you pay next year?
Local government officials across Central Texas recently finalized their budgets for the next fiscal year, deciding whether or not to take more money from citizens. And sadly, for most of those officials, the question was not if they were going to raise your taxes, but how much they were going to raise them.
Additionally, many of the cities and counties are using your tax money to make corrupt special deals, where local officials give hand-picked companies exclusive perks such as tax exemptions, rebates, and even outright truckloads of your cash. Instead of you keeping more of your hard-earned money to provide for your family, local government officials are busy using it to give special treatment to their favorite corporations.
Find your city and county on the list below to see how much more your officials are forcing you to pay next year—and what they’re doing with the extra cash. If you don’t like the price of your tax bill or how they’re spending your money, contact them. Maybe even vote them out of office.
Next year, the average homeowner will have to pay roughly $126 more to county officials, for an average bill of nearly $1,300. That annual bill is now $400 more expensive than it was 11 years ago.
It’s worth noting that the Travis County Commissioners, the officials who raised your taxes, also just raised their own salaries. They voted unanimously to stash an extra $16,000 this year alone; if they approve their planned pay increase next year, they’ll have raised their salaries nearly $50,000 in just three years. That’s quite the payday.
Meanwhile, you—the average county citizen—get the higher bills.
Next year, the average homeowner will have to pay roughly $45 more to county officials, for an average bill of roughly $1,360. That annual bill is now nearly $400 more expensive than it was just five years ago.
Williamson County Commissioners also participate in making corrupt, multimillion-dollar special deals, such as their deal with Apple in December 2018.
To read more about what the county officials are doing with your money, click here.
Next year, the average homeowner will have to pay roughly $65 more to county officials, for an average bill of roughly $1,100. That annual bill is now roughly $400 more expensive than it was just six years ago.
Like Williamson County and others, Hays County officials use your tax money to give special favors to hand-picked corporations, like their recent deal with manufacturing firm Katerra. Hays County’s new budget also includes a 5 percent salary raise for elected officials, except for the commissioners court.
Next year, the median homeowner will have to pay nearly $100 more to the Austin City Council, for an average bill of roughly $1,400. Here’s the shocking part: that annual bill is now 100 percent more expensive than it was 11 years ago.
That’s right. Double.
How is the city council spending all of that cash? It would take a while to list all of the highly questionable ways, but here are a few: they overspent $140 million on a flawed tunnel, flushed $450,000 on two public toilets, tossed $115,000 to clean one public toilet, and literally gave away millions to any citizen who sent an email asking for cash.
Meanwhile, citizens are losing their homes because of the runaway taxes. But so far, that hasn’t stopped the city council from continuing to take—and spend—more money.
Next year, the median homeowner will have to pay over $100 more to the Round Rock City Council, for an average bill of $1,120. That annual bill is roughly $400 more expensive than just five years ago.
Like numerous other local governments in the area, Round Rock City Council also uses your tax money to make special deals with hand-picked businesses. Over the past several years, the council has given exclusive perks to corporations such as IKEA, Dell, and Kalahari Waterpark Resort—to the tune of tens of millions.
To read more about what the council is doing with your money, click here.
Brace yourself for this one: Next year, the median homeowner will have to pay over $300 more to the Hutto City Council, for an average bill of $1,369.
Read more about the startling tax increase here.
Next year, the median homeowner will have to pay roughly $67 more to the Pflugerville City Council, for an average bill of $1,266.
It’s worth noting that the city council originally wanted to set the tax rate higher ($0.5045 per $100 of property value), but after citizens spoke out against it, the council lowered it ever so slightly ($0.4976 per $100 of property value.)
The Pflugerville City Council also funnels millions of your tax money to select corporations. Read more about the council’s corrupt special deals here.
Next year, the median homeowner will have to pay roughly $30 more to the Georgetown City Council, for an average bill of $1,166. Though that increase may not seem catastrophic, the median homeowner’s annual bill is now nearly $500 more than it was just seven years ago.
Just like many of their local government peers, Georgetown City Council uses your tax money to give special treatment to hand-picked businesses. In this year’s budget alone, there’s a hefty $8.7 million pot of cash set aside for city council to make “economic development agreements” with businesses—a code term for making special rules for corporations the council likes.
To read more, click here.
Next year, the average homeowner will have to pay $54 more to the Cedar Park City Council, for an average bill nearly $1,500. Compared to just six years ago, the average homeowner’s annual bill is now roughly $500 more.
Cedar Park officials are also using millions on special deals with their preferred businesses—in fact, they’ve set aside a whopping $19 million of your cash for such deals.
Read more here about why you’re having to pay them hundreds more per year.
In a shocking contrast to other local governments in Central Texas, Leander City Council actually cut spending and their tax rate enough to decrease some residents’ bills.
However, given the way property taxes are calculated, the average Leander homeowner in Williamson County will have to pay roughly $65 more next year, for an average bill of $1,524. Compared to just seven years ago, the average Leander homeowner’s bill is now $400 more.
The city council does have freshly elected, reform-minded members looking to change the city to a more pro-taxpayer direction. To read more about the unfolding story, click here.