Sunday, October 31, 2010

Local property tax hikes getting a little extreme

Man alive, local property taxes in Austin are rising fast.

This year's tax bill just came in and the property taxes imposed overall for our 1,000-ish square foot house in central east Austin went up 16.3% over last year - most of it from the City (19.46%), the County (21.56%), and Austin ISD (13.75%).

On the back of the bill is a "tax history" from prior years. Before this recent hike, our tax bill went up 12.38% last year and 12.28% the year before, for a cumulative total of a 46.75% over the last three years. Couple that with rapidly rising water rates and planned electric rate hikes for the first time since the '90s, and local government - particularly the city and county - is pretty significantly jacking up the base cost of living in this town.

I don't mind paying for government services, but a 46.75% increase over three years during the worst economic crunch since the Great Depression seems like a little much.