SAN ANTONIO – On the final day to file, the Bexar County Appraisal District was overwhelmed with taxpayers filing protests to try to prove their latest property values were much too high.
Dache Hammonds said her property value is lowered somewhat every year, only to shoot back up the next year.
“I shouldn’t have to come protest every year to tell you that my house is not valued at that,” Hammonds said.
Maria Leal said she was dropping off protests filed by her neighbors who are on limited or fixed incomes.
“It’s really hard for them to be able to keep up with those taxes,” Leal said.
Now that BCAD has closed for the day, the only two options are to e-file the protest or mail the paperwork that must be postmarked by midnight Monday. Otherwise, there are no extensions, according to BCAD.
Albert Uresti, Bexar County’s tax-assessor collector, said there’s no doubt, taxpayers are hurting.
He said of the 738,000 tax statements his office sent out last year, BCAD issued 670,000 value increase notices this year.
“That shows you pretty much everybody’s property value increased,” Uresti said.
He said the two best ways to lower property tax bills are to protest and to take advantage of the exemptions that are offered, “especially the homestead exemption if they’re 65 and over, or the disabled exemption.”
Uresti said the city has increased its exemption up to 10%, the county’s is 20%, and the new 65 and over and disabled exemptions by the city are $85,000.
“We want families in their homes. That’s where they belong,” Uresti said. “We want to keep them in their homes. So we want to help them reduce their property taxes as much as possible.”