AUSTIN, Texas — In addition to decisions about local, state, and federal races, Austin residents in the coming weeks will need vote yes or no on the City’s Proposition A, which, if passed, will fund the high-capacity transit system, Project Connect.
Everyone knows Austin traffic can be abysmal much of the time and public transportation options are limited. Touted by Austin Mayor Steve Adler on Monday, the proposed project promises jobs and affordable mobility options.
Specifically, according to the City, a Prop A passage would approve the tax rate and dedicate 8.75 cents of the operations and maintenance portion of the tax rate for Project Connect.
Project Connect is Austin’s massive transit plan that includes new rail service, new and expanded bus service, an all-electric bus fleet, as well as new park and rides.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the plan is a light rail that would travel beneath downtown Austin. A transit tunnel, the City states, would “increase the system’s travel time reliability and be safer than operating at street level.”
The City says federal funding will cover approximately 45 percent of the project’s estimated $7.1 billion capital cost.
Austin residents will be on the hook for the remainder, however. They’ll also fund operations and maintenance once the transit system is built. The City says the initial investment also includes $300 million for transit-supportive anti-displacement housing strategies.
The City states that for most Austin homeowners, the tax bill for all taxing jurisdictions is based on a tax rate of $2.16 per $100 of home value.
If approved, Proposition A would increase the tax rate by 8.75 cents. The amount of your increase would depend on your home’s worth. Here’s the City’s breakdown:
If your home is worth $250,000, you’ll be looking at an annual additional tax impact of $219. That works out to $18.23 per month. If your home is worth $325,000, you’ll be looking at an additional $284 per year. Those with a home valued at $500,00 would be on the hook for an additional $438 per year, and if your home is worth $750,000, you’d be looking at an extra $656 per year.
The 2020 Austin Median Home Value, after the homestead exemption, is $326.368.