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Appraisal District board approves $25.7 million budget
The Austin Bulldog

Board of Directors at Travis Central Appraisal District meeting of September 1, 2022

Fiscal Year 2023 budget increased nearly 13 percent over FY 2022

The board of Travis Central Appraisal District voted unanimously Thursday to approve a proposed FY 2023 budget of $25,683,866. That’s up 12.72 percent over the FY 2022 budget of $22,786,110. The budget covers calendar year 2023 and will take effect January 1st.

The main driver of the higher budget are an increase of $1.8 million in the cost of personnel and benefits, based on an authorized strength of 153 employees, an increase of 10 over the number authorized for FY 2022.

The cost of the appraisal district’s budget is paid by the 135 local government agencies it serves, including 60 municipal utility districts, 21 cities, 18 emergency services districts, 17 water control improvement districts, 15 school districts, plus Travis County, Central Health, Austin Community College, and one road district. School districts pay for more than 52 percent of TCAD’s budget, cities more than 19 percent, the county nearly 16 percent.

While none of these taxing jurisdictions is able to increase their budgets by anything approaching the percentage hike in TCAD’s budget, the reality is that the fees they pay to the appraisal district quarterly amount to just a tiny fraction of their outlays and are therefore inconsequential.

Click here to read the complete story on The Austin Bulldog.


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With deposition and trial looming, Elon Musk has offered $44B for Twitter, again
Shutterstock

Elon Musk has proposed once again to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.

The news that Musk is offering to carry on with the $44 billion buyout was first reported by Bloomberg. Now, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk made the proposal in a letter to the tech giant on Monday.

The New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading in Twitter stock twice Tuesday, first because of a big price move and the second time for a news event, presumably the announcement of Musk's renewed offer.

While the per share offer price on this latest proposal remains the same as the original offer, it’s unclear if Musk has made other term changes or if Twitter would reject it. According to other reports, a deal could be reached this week.

The stock closed at $52.00/share Tuesday, indicating market uncertainty around the $54.20 offer.

After Musk informed Twitter of plans to terminate the original agreement in July, Twitter sued. A trial has been expected in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17.

With the proposition of a buyout on the table again, it revives the question of whether Musk might move Twitter from San Francisco to Central Texas.

He’s done so with some of his other companies. Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County had its grand opening earlier this year and tunneling business The Boring Company moved to Pflugerville. At least two other Musk companies, SpaceX and Neuralink, have a Central Texas presence without being headquartered here.

Technology journalist Nilay Patel this afternoon voiced concerns that owning Twitter and Tesla together could be problematic for Musk, as his Tesla manufacturing facilities in Germany and China are both in countries that have disputes with Twitter over content moderation and censorship.

Telsa shares fell after the Twitter news became public, before rallying to close up, at $249.44.

Austin rents nearly double in a year and are now in the top 5 nationwide
Dwellsy

While searching for a place to live, Austin renters will face monthly rates of nearly $3,000, a recent guide from rental marketplace Dwellsy shows.

The median rent in August this year was $2,930, a more than 86% increase since August 2021. That’s $820 more than the nationwide median asking rent in August and puts Austin just below the Bay Area, Boston and New York for large cities with the most expensive asking rent.

“Within this group, Austin, TX stands out for the highest increases in asking rent, which has nearly doubled since this time last year,” the study notes.

Outside of those large cities, however, others are seeing even higher rent spikes. Metro areas that ranked above Austin in one-year increases include those like Kansas City, MO with a 112% change in rent since last August and Tucson, AZ with a 124% change.

The data reflects large apartment communities, single-family homes and 2-6 unit buildings.