This year's property tax bills for residents of Austin, Texas, have arrived and homeowners are not happy. Property taxes, along with real estate values, are dramatically higher, and concerns about affordability are making waves in the community.
One of the concerns is that the property tax system itself is to blame. The assertion is that homeowners have been unfairly burdened by the increased taxes as a result of burgeoning property values.
But there is more going on than just a dysfunctional tax system. Residents have voted for a bunch of stuff that costs money and now they're getting billed for it. One homeowner, completely missing the irony of the words coming out of his mouth, said:
I’m at the breaking point.
It’s not because I don’t like paying taxes.
I have voted for every park, every library, all the school improvements, for light rail, for anything that will make this city better.
But now I can’t afford to live here anymore. I’ll protest my appraisal notice, but that’s not enough. Someone needs to step in and address the big picture.
Turns out, you can't have your park, library, school improvements, light rail and not pay for them, too.