New Bexar County property tax appraisals for 2017 are arriving in local mailboxes, and people in one north side neighborhood are howling about dramatic increases.
"As soon as people got to their mailboxes and opened up their letters, they were shocked, absolutely shocked. People do not have this kind of disposable income. They don't know how they're going to pay their property taxes this year," Oak Park Northwood Neighborhood President Ben Schoenbaum said.
Home values in this well-established area where most homes are 50-years old or more seem to be stable, but for many, land values have skyrocketed.
The ground under a modest 1935 home in the 200 block of Haskin Drive just about doubled.
In 2016, the land was valued at $73,920 but the new value has increased to $147,160.
"The house that we're in front of right now had the land value raised 84 percent," Schoenbaum said.
That property, in the 400 block of Pike Road increased in value from $65,020 in 2016 to $119,860 for 2017.
Several homeowners said they were shocked to realize that the ground their houses occupy is now worth more than the homes they value.
Schoenbaum said his neighbors are working together to come up with a plan to fight because many are senior citizens who do not have the means to relocate.
"They're retired. They're on fixed incomes. They don't have a lot of cash, but they do have their homes. They're facing the possibility of having to sell their homes because they can't afford to keep them," Schoenbaum said.
The city's Chief Appraiser was out of town and not available for comment Tuesday, but there is an appeal process for anyone who believes their appraisal values are not correct. The deadline to protest is May 31.
Here is a link to the Bexar Appraisal District website.
Here is a link to the protest form.
The Chief Appraiser is expected to be back in town Wednesday. We plan to talk with him about what is going on with the dramatic increases.