SAN ANTONIO — Bexar County is now providing a small property tax break for homeowners.
Today, county commissioners approved a homestead exemption for homeowners who qualify. County leaders say it comes at a time where home values are soaring in Texas.
One homeowner likes the move—but feels it’s not enough.
The county commissioner who pushed for the exemption says rising property values across San Antonio, including neighborhoods like Denver Heights is why she wanted this exemption.
Sheariah Jones has lived in her home since she was 11 years old, and hopes to call it home for a long time.
“I’m a licensed esthetician here in the state of Texas, this will be my home studio, office and a place I can call home,” Jones says.
Jones is a daughter of military parents and is hoping to inherit ownership of her parents house.
“It has a lot of sentimental value to me which is why I want to keep it in the family,” Jones says.
Keeping it in the family has become costly—and tough to ward off buyers.
She constantly gets calls from people willing to buy the home for $200,000 in cash offers.
With renovations and re-dos, the home value has gone up since Jones’ family bought the house, and so have the taxes.
“In less than one year it went from $1,000 which was very affordable to $5,000-plus,” Jones said.
It’s why Bexar County is providing some relief to homeowners.
County commissioners approved a new homestead exemption, which reduces the taxable value of homes across Bexar County by $5,000.
Commissioner Marialyn Barnard for Precinct 3 says it saves all homeowners in the county $15 a year on their tax bill.
“While it seems like a little bit, over the course of many years it adds up and of course we’ve seen, in addition to the property values increasing, we’ve also seen inflation,” Barnard said.
According to the Texas Association of Appraisal Districts, home values around the state have increased between 10 to 50% since last year. The San Antonio-New Braunfels area saw property values increase 18.37% year over year, ranking fourth highest among Texas real estate markets.
The new exemption is mostly positive to prospective homeowners like Jones.
“It sounds amazing, it’s just a little bit late after the fact, I wish they would have done it sooner so that during COVID, we wouldn’t feel fearful of losing our homes because of just the property taxes,”
Whether it’s first time homebuyers like Jones, or generations of families living in homes—Jones doesn’t want anyone to get priced out of their property.
“I love Denver Heights, I love being this close to downtown, and I shouldn’t have to move because it’s unaffordable now,” Jones said.
Jones says she wants to pay taxes to allow the county to make improvements in her neighborhood.
According to the County’s Tax Assessor-Collector Office, homeowners who have a homestead exemption do not need to apply for the County’s exemption and it will automatically apply.