Can you explain the property tax relief in San Antonio?

Every week, Mansion Global poses a tax question to real estate tax lawyers. Here is this week’s question.

Q. Can you explain the proposed changes to the homestead tax exemption in San Antonio, TX?

In mid-June, the San Antonio The city council has approved a proposal from the San Antonio Board of Realtors, or SABOR, to increase the city’s property tax exemption from 0.01% to 10%. It’s a move that’s meant to save homeowners money on their property taxes, because an exemption removes part of a home’s value from taxation.

Owners of a home valued at $270,000 will save approximately $137 in annual taxes with a 10% exemption. Prior to this change, the city had offered the 0.01% exemption for homesteads since 2019.

Council also voted “yes” on a proposal to increase the tax exemption for over-65s from $65,000 to $85,000, which translates to property tax savings for about 103,000 households, according to SABO. Finally, City Council approved SABOR’s proposal to increase the disability tax exemption from $12,500 to $85,000. The changes will come into effect in 2023.

SABOR has introduced an additional proposal to reduce San Antonio’s current tax rate to save homeowners even more money, but the city council has yet to vote on it.

There’s a backstory to how the proposal came to life: Home prices in San Antonio, as well as the rest of Texas, have risen dramatically over the past decade, with the last year seeing the the most dramatic increase. According to SABOR, the average selling price of homes in the south-central Texas metropolis is currently $395,847, a 20% increase from April 2021.

Looking at trends over the past 10 years, San Antonio tax attorney Dustin Whittenburg, who specializes in property taxes, said some low-income areas have seen particularly steep jumps. “In an area like Government Hill, prices have gone from around $30,000 to around $140,000,” he said.

After: Salt Lake City set for first property tax rate hike in eight years

Rising home prices mean San Antonio homeowners have to pay more property taxes when their homes are reassessed. According to Mr. Whittenburg, this happens every year on January 1st. “Homeowners are furious because assessment prices keep going up and they are paying more and more taxes every year,” he said. “These new tax breaks will give them some relief.”

But he noted that this reprieve is likely only temporary as home values ​​in San Antonio will likely continue on an upward trajectory for years to come.

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