(Austin) – The Central Health Board of Managers voted Wednesday to set the tax rate for Fiscal Year 2020 at 6.9% over the “no-new-revenue” – or effective – tax rate, which will generate $214.9 million in property taxes to pay for health care delivery for Travis County residents with low income.
For a Travis County home with an average taxable homestead value of $347,655, the annual property tax increase will be $23.07, or about $2 a month. The annual property tax bill for Central Health would come to about $367. Central Health offers a 20% homestead exemption for residents, the maximum allowed by state law, and an $85,500 exemption for residents over 65 and for those with disabilities.
Since its creation in 2004, Central Health has maintained the lowest tax rate among other major urban hospital districts in Texas. Within Travis County, the total estimated 2020 property tax bill for an average taxpayer breaks down accordingly: Austin ISD 53.7%, City of Austin 20.7%, Travis County 16.0%, Austin Community College 5.3%, and Central Health 4.3%, based on the average homestead.
“Central Health is serving more people every year,” said Dr. Guadalupe Zamora, Central Health board chair and long-time Austin physician. “This tax rate allows us to plan for future demand for health care services, while being sensitive to the fact that the cost of living continues to increase in Austin.”
The tax rate is 10.5573 cents per $100 of assessed property value, and includes a maintenance and operations tax rate of 10.4906 cents, and a debt service rate of .0667 cents. The tax rate is 6.9% over what the State of Texas now calls the “no new revenue rate,” previously known as the effective tax rate. The no new revenue rate is the property tax rate that generates the same amount of tax revenue as the previous year, without considering new construction.
Central Health FY 2020 Budget and Next Steps
The tax rate supports Central Health’s proposed $290.8 million budget, approved by the Board of Managers on Sept. 18, of which $278.1 million pays for health care delivery – a 12.4% increase compared to FY19. Nearly 96% of Central Health’s budget supports health care delivery for low income Travis County residents, while 4% goes towards administrative costs.
The Travis County Commissioners Court has final authority on Central Health’s tax rate and will vote on Oct. 1. The commissioners court approved Central Health’s FY 2020 budget on Sept. 24.
To learn more about the budget visit www.centralhealth.net/finance/fy-2020-budget.