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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Texas’ Rising Rents Highlight Damage of Rising Property Taxes

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AUSTIN — “It was up over $400—just like that. My income is not going up $400 a month!”

Austinite Linda Lee recently told local station KXAN the shocking upcoming rent increase for her apartment, highlighting a threat facing countless Texans across the state and one that again sounds the alarm for elected officials to stop the skyrocketing property taxes.

Lee, almost 70 years old, is not alone in her crisis. Her monthly apartment rent was set to increase by nearly 35 percent next year, yet KXAN also reported they received several tips over the past month of similar rent hikes, some as much as 47 percent in one year.

And while those startling numbers are far above the average rent increases in the state, costs are still rising.

According to the Texas Real Estate Research Center, apartment rent rates in San Antonio increased by 6 percent from 2020; those in Dallas-Fort Worth rose 10 percent year-over-year in July; and rents in Austin, the Texas major metro area with the highest cost increase, are forecasted to rise by 11.5 percent compared to just one year ago.

Notably, Austin was also recently expected to be the most expensive U.S. city for homeowners outside California, and Texas also has three of the top 10 worst livable cities in America for minimum-wage employees.

Though numerous factors certainly contribute to the rising cost of housing across the state, one that certainly enflames the problem is when Texas’ local government officials restrict new housing construction and constantly pile higher property tax bills on citizens (bills that are some of the highest in the United States).

The Democrat-run Austin City Council, for example, has raised taxes by a startling 150 percent over the last 13 years. In 2008, the council charged the median homeowner $705 on their

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