Austin Mayor’s Property Tax Bill: Nearly $100,000

Interior view of a condo listing at the downtown building where Steve Adler lives.

Under rates that he sets in part himself, Austin Mayor Steve Adler pays annual property tax of nearly $100,000 for his residences at a downtown high-rise-more than most Austinites earn in a full year.

According to tax records, the mayor owes $97,629 for two condominiums for the year 2021, and he paid an even higher bill of $98,766 last year.

That bill covers just the mayor’s properties at the high-rise where he lives, not the investment properties that he owns indirectly elsewhere in Austin and in New York City.

The hefty bill highlights the mayor’s wealth as well as the increased expense of owning property in Austin for businesses and homeowners alike.

Adler has hiked effective tax rates every year he’s been in office since 2015. Because property taxes are regressive-meaning they disproportionately affect owners with lower incomes-the progressive mayor has sought to offset that in part by increasing the homestead and senior exemptions.

Even so, tax bills have risen yearly for most Austinites as home values have surged.

Property taxes in the city, as in the rest of Texas, are set by different units of local government and collected into a single bill by the Travis County Tax Office.

A third entity, the Travis Central Appraisal District, estimates the market value of each property in the district for use in the tax calculations.

Records of the appraisal district show that Adler owns two adjoining condos at the W Residences, one appraised at $867,559 and the other $4,092,540.

He bought the latter, a two-unit condo with four bedrooms, in 2012 when the high-rise condo opened, and the former in August 2020, two months before his daughter’s wedding.

Adler’s tax bill is due at the end of this month, as it is for most Austin homeowners. The median Austin homeowner will pay about $9,000 this year, which is about a tenth of the median family income for a three-person household.

Revenue from property taxes goes exclusively to local governments, not the state (though state siphons some money from local school districts and reallocates it to less wealthy districts). About half the revenue goes to public schools, a quarter goes to the City of Austin, a sixth goes to Travis County, and smaller amounts go to Central Health, Austin Community College, and other taxing entities.

Originally published at https://www.honestaustin.com on January 1, 2022.

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Original reporting on local Austin news, Texas politics, and the economy. honestaustin.com

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Honest Austin

Honest Austin

Original reporting on local Austin news, Texas politics, and the economy. honestaustin.com

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