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Central Health Hosts Public Hearing on 2020 Budget

WHAT: Central Health public hearing about the FY2020 property tax rate.

WHEN/WHERE: 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Central Health, 1111 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX 78702.

(Austin) – Central Health is hosting the first of two public hearings on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 proposed property tax rate at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019.

Central Health’s FY2020 proposed a budget of over $290 million is largely funded by Travis County property taxes, and will increases funding for health care delivery by 12.4% over this year. Chapter 26 of the Texas Tax Code requires Central Health to hold two public hearings before the budget and tax rate are approved by the Board of Managers, and ultimately Travis County Commissioners. The second public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019.

The Central Health Board of Managers recently approved an FY2020 maximum tax rate of 6.9% over what the state now calls the “no new revenue rate,” previously known as the effective tax rate. The no new revenue rate is the rate that generates the same amount of tax revenue as the previous year, without consideration for new construction. The tax rate will generate $214.9 million to pay for health care for Travis County residents with low income. By law, the board could have approved a maximum tax rate as high as 8% over the no new revenue rate without triggering an election by Travis County voters on the tax rate.

For a Travis County home with an average taxable homestead value of $347,655 in 2019, the annual increase would be approximately $23.07, or about $2 a month. The annual tax bill would be 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. Central Health still maintains the lowest tax rate of any major urban Texas hospital district, which as been the case since the healthcare district’s creation in 2004.

Those wishing to speak at the hearing should arrive no later than 5:30 p.m. to sign in. Each speaker will have three minutes to address the Board of Managers. More information and guidelines can be found at www.centralhealth.net/meetings under Public Comment. To learn more about Central Health’s FY202) budget visit www.centralhealth.net/finance/fy-2020-budget.