All day long Wednesday, traffic was heavy at the Bexar County Appraisal District at 411 North Frio, where many of the people who came to protest their values are front-line foot soldiers in the war against gentrification.
Rebecca Garza said her modest home on West Cevallos has seen an astronomical increase in value. She said the home she paid just $20,000 for is now listed as being worth $181,500.
“I'm not improving my home, but it's going up hundreds of thousands. That's a lot for me as a senior citizen," she said.
Garza said she and other senior citizens are being forced out by rising values.
“It's just killing me because they're going to throw me out. I'm still paying last year's taxes on a payment plan, and now it’s time to start again,” Garza said.
Manuel Lopez, Jr. filed a protest, saying he feels the same pressure.
“My God, It's incredible the way they have increased it. I'd be glad to sell it to them at the prices they're putting,” Lopez said.
While the high values are hard for taxpayers to accept, almost everyone moving through the line agreed the protest process is pretty easy. Maria Tijerina said she has endured it before, and recommends it to everyone.
“Take advantage of the process," she said. "Fill out the form and bring it in and they are very efficient here. The process right now probably took less than a minute."
Robert Johnson said he was prepared for a pleasant experience because he consulted the district’s website before paying a personal visit.
Johnson agreed the process was "easy breezy."
BCAD staff said there is only one change to the protest form this year: Checking a small box at the bottom of the form requires the district to send the taxpayer an evidence packet. That packet contains all of the comparable sales data the district uses to assign value to parcels.
To access the online protest process before midnight, click here.