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City's first homestead exemption, as adopted, too high

Homeowners will still receive discount of at least $5,000 from appraised home value for the City portion of property taxes

Post Date:09/27/2018 7:00 pm

Dear Cedar Park homeowner, 

You will soon see property tax relief in the form of a homestead exemption on your appraised home value on the City portion of your next property tax bill.  It will be a lower amount than what the Cedar Park City Council originally intended when it unanimously passed the City’s first-ever homestead exemption last April.   

 Attention Cedar Park homeowners:
  • The City of Cedar Park now has its first-ever homestead exemption.
  • You will receive a one percent or at least $5,000 homestead exemption from the appraised value of your homestead, for the City portion of your property tax statement
  • Here’s how it works:
    • For all Cedar Park homesteads with an appraised value below $500,000, an exemption of $5,000 is deducted from the value before the City’s portion of property taxes is calculated.For homes with an appraised value of $500,000 or more, the value will be discounted by one percent before the City’s portion of property taxes is calculated.
    • Keep in mind that the City of Cedar Park represents less than one fifth of your overall tax bill.

Additional details follow.

To give you some background, in an effort to lessen the impact of property taxes on homeowners due to rising property values, the City Council had adopted a one percent homestead exemption with a minimum amount of $10,000.  State law expressly provides a floor for the homestead exemption amount of $5,000 but does not specify that the floor cannot be increased.  The City also reviewed precedent set by another Texas municipality and other entities as well as Cedar Park’s home rule authority to adopt its own ordinances. 

The Williamson Central Appraisal District had accepted Cedar Park’s new homestead exemption as adopted, but the Travis Central Appraisal District reduced the floor to $5,000.  The City worked with State and County officials to seek an opinion from the Texas Attorney General.  The AG reviewed the City’s new homestead exemption and issued an opinion that the City does not have the authority to increase the homestead exemption’s floor – or minimum – above $5,000.

The good news is that Cedar Park homeowners will still receive the City’s new  homestead exemption that automatically deducts at least $5,000 from the appraised value of their home for the City portion of their taxes. 

The City Council has made some progress in adopting the City’s first homestead exemption and adopting the City’s lowest tax rate in 16 years.    The City Council will continue to explore any legislative remedies and opportunities related to homestead exemption for future tax years.  

Your home may receive additional property tax exemptions, and those are not impacted.

The new homestead exemption does not necessarily mean that your property tax bill will be lower than last year, as appraised home values have risen, but the homestead discount will be automatically reflected.

Information is also available at www.cedarparktexas.gov under the News section and on www.cedarparktexas.gov/homestead

 

Sincerely,

The City of Cedar Park

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News release, published on 9/27/18:

City of Cedar Park homeowners will still see property tax relief in the form of a homestead exemption on their appraised home value for the City portion of their next property tax bill.  It will be a lower amount than what the Cedar Park City Council intended when it unanimously passed the City’s first-ever homestead exemption last April.  


In an effort to lessen the impact of property taxes on homeowners due to rising property values, the City Council had adopted a one percent homestead exemption with a minimum amount of $10,000.  State law expressly provides a floor for the homestead exemption amount of $5,000 but does not specify that the floor cannot be increased.  The City also reviewed precedent set by another Texas municipality and other entities, as well as Cedar Park’s home rule authority to adopt its own ordinances.  

The Williamson Central Appraisal District had accepted Cedar Park’s new homestead exemption as adopted, but the Travis Central Appraisal District reduced the floor to $5,000.  The City worked with State and County officials to seek an opinion from the Texas Attorney General.  The AG reviewed the City’s new homestead exemption and issued an opinion that the City does not have the authority to increase the homestead exemption’s floor – or minimum – above $5,000.

The good news is that Cedar Park homeowners will still receive the City’s first-ever homestead exemption that automatically deducts at least $5,000 from the appraised value of their home for the City portion of their taxes.  

Cedar Park Mayor Corbin Van Arsdale says, “The Council wanted to direct more property tax relief to homeowners than this. But in spite of the State’s limitations, we’re glad we at least got the City’s first-ever homestead exemption in place. It was a Council priority, and we can build on it. We also just cut our property tax rate for the sixth year in a row, to the lowest it’s been in 16 years.”   

Van Arsdale says the City will continue to explore legislative remedies and opportunities to provide Cedar Park homeowners more property tax relief in future years.