Councilman Calls for Examination of Bexar Appraisal District

While many politicians want to cut your property tax, northwest side City Councilman Manny Pelaez wants to dig deeper, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Pelaez is asking City Council to order a 'comprehensive study and briefing' on how your property is appraised for taxation purposes.

"The appraised value set by the Bexar County Appraisal District affects the entire tax bill," Pelaez said.  "Whether or not the Legislature takes action next year to provide meaningful tax relief, I want to ensure that Bexar County property owners are treated fairly and in the same manner as other taxpayers across the state."

Pelaez wants to look into how property valuations differ from district to district, how the appraisal process can become more transparent, and how likely the BCAD is to listen to and grant taxpayer challenges of their valuation.

"We have heard time and time again that our constituents are frustrated by the complexity of the process and by a perceived unwillingness by government officials to have an honest discussion about reform."

There have been several attempts to reform the property appraisal process in the Legislature, and none have succeeded.  One concern of taxpayers is the fact that the boards of directors of appraisal districts are made up of elected officials, generally from the city, county, and school districts who have a vested interest in higher property taxes.

Many see the appraisal process, especially at a time when property values are rising, as a tax increase which is imposed not by elected officials but by anonymous bureaucrats.

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