Growing property taxes forcing long-time Austinites out
As Austin grows, moving boxes have become an all-too familiar sight. But the boxes in front of the Hadleys' house are not there to be unpacked; they will be storing their possessions there as they prepare to move out of their home of 16 years.
Barbara Hadley and her family are being taxed out of their home.
"Personal property taxes are too high," Hadley said. "To feel like you've done, that we've done everything we can. We're law-abiding citizens, we work hard, we give back to the community, and yet, we're getting kicked out of our home."
Barbara's son, Archer, has had to use a wheelchair since he was five-years-old.
He is a leading voice in improving wheelchair accessibility here in Austin.
The Hadley's are behind Archer's challenge and have pushed for legislation for those in the same position as they are.
Now, they may not be able to call this city home because of growing property taxes.
"I know where everything is. I can reach everything. Everything is where I need it to be. I can get out of here safely if I need to get out, those kinds of things that with a new place, comes all those sorts of new challenges you have to figure out," said Archer Hadley.
The Hadleys made their home in complete compliance with ADA standards.
They added ramps to the entrances, and made their bathrooms wheelchair accessible, among other things.
Currently, the only tax exemption that would help them requires Archer, who is a student at UT, to own the home.
But even if they were eligible for this, they say they would still have to probably move out.
"It's a drop of water in the bucket. I don't want a free ride, but don't tax me out of my house," said Barbara Hadley.
The Hadleys also worry several families like their's are in the same boat.
"I ran into some neighbors who are doing the exact same thing we're doing because they can't afford the taxes," said Archer Hadley.
The Hadleys tell CBS Austin they plan on putting their home on the market by February.
They are meeting with Governor Abbott's office next week to talk about the increasing personal property taxes.