ACC Board increases tax exemption for seniors & sets lowest tax rate in a decade

The Austin Community College District Board of Trustees set the 2014-15 property tax exemption for seniors and homeowners with disabilities at $125,000—an exemption increase of $10,000. ACC also has a standard $5,000 exemption for all homeowners.

“We’re proud to offer this exemption. We want to be sensitive and thoughtful to seniors and homeowners with disabilities in the area,” says Jeffrey Richard, chair of the ACC board. “Home values in Central Texas continue to rise, and this increase allows us to help keep costs affordable, especially for those who may need additional assistance. We’re able to do this because the college has the largest tax base in the area, enabling every cent to go further.”

The board set the coming year’s tax rate at $0.0942 (9.42 cents) per $100 valuation. That includes a maintenance and operations (M&O) rate of $0.09 (9 cents), with the remainder going toward debt service. It is the college’s lowest tax rate in a decade.

The increase in the exemption will result in reduced costs for seniors and homeowners with disabilities should ACC’s bond and tax cap increase ballot measures pass this November.

The bond package is divided into two propositions totaling $386 million—an approximate 2-cent increase in the property tax rate to be phased in over time. Trustees also called for a vote on increasing the college’s M&O property tax cap by 3 cents, phased in over time.

Factoring in the new total exemption of $130,000, the tax increase associated with the college’s ballot measures would be as follows (in 2020, for a home valued at $200,000 before exemptions):

For standard homeowners, the approximate tax increase associated with the ballot measures is as follows (in 2020, for a home valued at $200,000 before the exemption):

The college’s bond propositions focus on building the infrastructure to support the Central Texas workforce.

• Proposition 1: Planning and construction for future growth (Highland Campus, phase II; campus in Leander; and acquisition of property for regional workforce center in southeast Travis County)

• Proposition 2: Existing campus growth and renovations for health, safety, sustainability, and technology (renovations to the historic Rio Grande Campus; regional first-responders training center at Hays Campus; Elgin Campus workforce training center; Round Rock Campus expansion to increase health sciences program capacity; district-wide renovations)

The proposed increase in the M&O tax rate would fund necessary maintenance and new programs, among other uses. The initiatives include expansion of veterans’ programs, services, and tuition waivers, as well as the establishment of dual-credit academies in high-demand fields such as the health sciences, information technology, and building construction technology.

If the bond measures and tax cap increase are approved, the maximum total tax rate would be approximately 14 cents. That would remain below the current state average for community colleges, about 16 cents.

For more information about the ACC ballot measures, visit

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