Relief Proposed for San Antonio Homeowners

For many San Antonio homeowners there was sticker shock in the mail, thanks to rising property taxes, but relief may be on the way, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

A growing coalition on City Council is now pressing forward with a plan to create a homestead exemptions. San Antonio is the only big city in Texas without one.

Councilman Clayton Perry says the goal is to start off with a five-percent break on property taxes.

"That would cost about $11 million," he said.

Last year, the city saw a $15 budget surplus, which he says could have paid for that.

"There are people who are having to sell and move out because of the property taxes and this city can do something about it."

A homestead exemption reduces the amount of property taxes a homeowner would be liable for. For example, with a five-percent exemption, the owner of a $200,000 home would only have to pay taxes on $190,000.

The councilmembers say a five-percent exemption is a good starting place, but they want to ramp it up to 20-percent. That could mean cuts to services, but Councilman Greg Brockhouse is confident they can get it done.

"We will never cut a service that's going to hurt a family, a senior or a child. We can find things in our budget, I guarantee you - tens of millions of dollars - to afford and help give property tax relief."

The group is pressing the issue now because the city must notify the state by July 1st that they plan to create a homestead exemption. Budget workshops start in May.

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