Bexar County Commissioners Support Public Awareness Campaigns on Property Tax Assistance and Mail-in Ballots
Bexar County Tax Assessor-Collector Albert Uresti told county commissioners on Tuesday that eligible property taxpayers in arrears can apply for assistance, but accessing the application is difficult for some residents.
The $80 million from the Federal Homeowners Assistance Fund is paid by the state.
Uresti reports that the fund is part of the US federal bailout administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. He told commissioners that many residents did not have online access to the app.
Uresti said his office sent letters to 15,000 delinquent residents. Commissioner Tommy Calvert praised Uresti’s efforts.
“This is a particularly important thing for Bexar County because we have a lot of vulture capitalists waiting to take property from people in foreclosure,” Calvert said.
Uresti said a few county tax office staff and downtown tax office computers are available for assistance. Commissioners also supported a public awareness campaign, urging certain non-profit organizations to take action to help delinquent property taxpayers and making computers available at local Bibliotechs.
Uresti called the requirements for getting help “liberal”. He said a four-person household with an income of $79,000 is the upper threshold for assistance. The aid does not have to be repaid.
In another action, commissioners directed staff to plan and budget for a public awareness campaign to reduce the number of mail-in ballot applications that are rejected by the county elections office after the implementation of the requirements of Stricter voting under Senate Bill 1 ahead of the November election.
The district attorney’s office recommended such a campaign focused on voter education so that it does not run the risk of being in legal violation of requirements.
Commissioners were told the rejection rate dropped after voters began putting partial Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers on their applications, giving election office workers two numbers to validate applications.
The district attorney’s office also recommended that the public awareness campaign encourage voters to ensure their voter registration information is up-to-date.
It is likely that the public awareness campaign will focus on both filling out an application correctly and updating voter registration information.
County Judge Nelson Wolff criticized state lawmakers for implementing Senate Bill 1. He said it hurt turnout for the Democratic and Republican parties, especially among the most vulnerable who cannot go to the polls, such as the disabled and the elderly. Wolff said both sides had seen many claims denied before March
Wolff supported recommendations to release information to the public to avoid thousands of job rejections.
“I’m sure no one would object to giving information to the voter and maybe that would stop it… 4,000 people were turned away. They were targeting old people. You should be ashamed of yourself,” Wolff said of GOP-run Texas. Legislature.
In other actions, the commissioners:
- Approved the submission of an electronic grant application for $2.3 million to the state to pay for 11 new employees and operating costs to provide indigent defendants with a legal defense. The two-year grant would cover these costs until September 2023.
- Honored professional wrestler Melissa Cervantes, also known as “Thunder Rosa”, with proclamation for her accomplishments not only in wrestling, but also for her work on women’s rights and the promotion of women’s athletics.
- Recognized April as Alcohol Awareness Month in association with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the State Department of Transportation. The recognition comes as the city of San Antonio celebrates Fiesta and drunk driving becomes a major concern.