Northwest Austin Edition | May 2021

CITY&SCHOOLS Hot housingmarket is reflected in 2021 property appraisals CITY&SCHOOLS News from Austin, counties, Texas & schools

District to receive $156M in federal COVID-19 support

BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGE

PROPERTY APPRAISALS BY THE NUMBERS

TRAVIS COUNTY The Travis Central Appraisal District sent out 2021 notices of appraisal to Travis County property owners in April for a collective $323 billion of appraised value—a 12% increase in its appraisal roll since 2019, when TCAD last updated appraisals. The increase points to a highly active Austin housing market and rapid population growth, a TCAD representative said. “That’s being driven by substan- tial increases in the residential market. It’s a mixed increase in commercial sectors,” TCAD Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler said in a May 4 presentation to Travis County commissioners. While the values for some com- mercial properties have decreased over the past year, office buildings have shown moderate appreciation, Crigler said. The value of residential prop- erties, however, has skyrocketed across the board as low housing

The Travis Central Appraisal District in April distributed its valuations to property owners. Here is a breakdown of the updated appraisals.

BY NICHOLAS CICALE

AUSTIN ISD Gov. Greg Abbott announced April 28 that the Texas Edu- cation Agency would be distributing a total of $11.2 billion in federal funds to public schools, with Austin ISD set to receive approximately $156 million in COVID-19 relief funding. AISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said the $156 million is less than what the district was expecting, but it will nonetheless help support students. Some of the money will go to recoup the almost $55 million AISD has already spent on relief. Beyond that, Elizalde said there will be a primary focus on direct services to students that could help eliminate learning losses that were seen during the pandemic. Some future costs, such as main- taining technology that was distrib- uted over the past year, are already anticipated by the district.

Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area median home price was $425,000 in March

$323 billion of appraised value That is a 12% increase since 2019

Residential properties are 57% of taxable value in Travis County in 2021

57%

SOURCE: TRAVIS CENTRAL APPRAISAL DISTRICT/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

likely pay a larger share of the county’s taxes. “In 2020, residential represented 53% of the overall taxable value in the county, and commercial represented 42%; in 2021, we are showing that residential is going to represent 57% and commercial will represent 39%,” Crigler said. TCAD will send certified esti- mates to taxing entities by late July.

inventory collided with heightened interest in single-family homes in Austin. From January 2020 to January 2021, the level of housing inventory in Travis County reduced from 1.6 months to 0.4 months. As of March, Austin-Round Rock- area home prices had hit a median $425,000, an all-time high. Conse- quently, residential property owners will see higher appraisals and will

Police academy training to restart in June

CADET TRAINING TIMELINE

The Austin Police Department is set to restart its academy next month. Here is a timeline of the events leading up to this decision.

BY BEN THOMPSON

council, with District 4 Council Mem- ber Greg Casar voting against and District 1 Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison abstaining. The acad- emy is set to launch June 7, according to the city, barring any changes over the coming weeks. Training of new APD cadets was put on hold over a year ago in the wake of a series of reports and investigations into toxic and racist aspects of the APD academy and its leadership.

AUSTIN The Austin Police Depart- ment will once again train new cadets this year after City Council’s May 6 majority vote to commence a pilot, “reimagined” training academy with increased oversight and communi- ty-based input. A resolution directing City Manager Spencer Cronk to move forward with final preparations for APD’s train- ing of its 144th cadet class passed

December 2019: council votes to conduct investigation of discrimination in Austin Police Department June 2020: city pauses training of 144th class of the Austin Police Academy October 2020: most recent cadet class graduates May 6: council votes to restart academy with new recom- mendations June 7: next cadet class to start

2019

2020

2021

SOURCE: CITY OF AUSTIN/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

New roles announced for health care officials leading local COVID-19 efforts

DR. MARK ESCOTT • Previously: interim health authority of Austin and Travis County • Now: chief medical officer for the city of Austin STEPHANIE HAYDEN-HOWARD • Previously: Austin Public Health director • Now: assistant city manager with city of Austin DR. DESMAR WALKES • Previously: local health authority for Bastrop County • Now: Austin medical director and health authority NEWROLES FORHEALTHOFFICIALS

County’s fight against COVID-19 since the first cases of the virus were confirmed. Dr. Desmar Walkes will take over as the city’s next medical director and health authority May 31. Since 2007, Walkes has served as the local health authority for Bastrop County, where she has been the point person for the county’s response to COVID-19.

BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGE

the city, and Austin Public Health Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard will become an assistant city manager. Escott and Hayden-Howard have been the two most visible leaders of Austin and Travis

AUSTIN Dr. Mark Escott will step down from his position as interim health authority of Austin and Travis County to take on a new role as chief medical officer for

SOURCE: CITY OF AUSTIN/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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