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'There has to be a balance': Property tax amendments to provide hundreds of dollars in relief to Bexar County homeowners

Two constitutional amendments passed in the May 7 election—and it could mean hundreds of dollars in relief.

SAN ANTONIO — Property tax relief is coming to Texas residents.

Two constitutional amendments passed in the May 7 election—and it could mean hundreds of dollars in relief.

The effects of the hot housing market can be felt in neighborhoods like on the west side of downtown, where a rise in home values means a rise in taxes that some can’t afford.

One longtime resident says its relief that’s needed.

She calls it one of the smaller houses on the block of Saunders near Zarzamora Street, but it’s the place Linda Ortega has called home since 1987

“There’s a lot of elderly here, and some are on fixed incomes, some are retired,” Ortega can check those boxes too which is why she was happy her and at least 84 percent of Bexar County voters approved the state’s Proposition 1 and Proposition 2.

“For the elderly, you know, once you stop working that’s it. Your income just drops,” Ortega said.

Prop 1 will provide relief to Texans who are seniors over 65 or disabled.

Prop 2 increases the state homestead exemption from $25,000 to $40,000 for school district property taxes, which according to the Bexar County Tax-Assessor Collector Office makes up about 50% of the average tax bill.

“People will see an average savings of $180 to $210, so that will be per year,” Albert Uresti, Bexar County’s Tax Assessor & Collector says more could be done in the legislature.

“I think the state needs to take a more aggressive role in helping educate our children so we’re not so reliant on property tax to fund education,” Uresti said.

Ortega may not have kids in school but she doesn’t want property taxes to keep people out of the homes they’ve been in most of their lives.

“We don’t want to be our taxes so low that they don’t help the school district, but there has to be a balance that doesn’t hurt the people,” Ortega said.

Those property tax exemptions will impact homeowners this year according to Uresti. If you haven’t applied for your homestead exemptions, you can find the forms on the Bexar Appraisal District website.