Nirenberg Will Support Local Homestead Exemption Without Property Tax Increase

Print Share on LinkedIn Comments More
Mayor Ron Nirenberg

Scott Ball / Rivard Report

Mayor Ron Nirenberg studies budget documents at a City Council goal-setting session last week.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg said he will vote in favor of a local property tax exemption for homeowners when City Council meets at 5 p.m. Monday, but he will not be in favor of subsequently increasing the City’s property tax rate to make up for the lost revenue.

The exemption would result in a revenue lossĀ of nearly $6 million from the City’s budget, $3.7 million of which would be from the general fund, which the City uses to fund programs and services across San Antonio.

“I will identify specific budget reductions to pay for this tax relief without cutting public safety or essential services,” Nirenberg told the Rivard Report.

During a budget goal-setting session on Friday, City staff showed City Council options to regain the cost of a homestead exemption with a property tax increase. Adjusting the City’s effective property tax rate to the currently allowed rollback rate would increase its revenue by $6.8 million, netting the City roughly $3.1 million for its general fund.

“Homeowners have been asking for property tax relief,” Nirenberg said. “I intend to provide it without strings attached.”

The minimum-allowed homestead exemption will shave $5,000 off the appraised values of homes next year that are the primary residence of a property owner. The City’s property tax accounts for roughly 20 percent of total property tax bills.

The Bexar County Appraisal District will release its total tax rolls later this summer and the City will draft its fiscal year 2020 budget according to how much in property taxes it will collect next year.

Street maintenance, public safety, affordable housing, and family services emerged as top priorities during the day-long session last week, representing millions in potential funding.

Council members likely will see a tight draft budget in August, without room for all the additional programming and initiatives requested by them, residents, and City departments. The City already is receiving $7 million less than in previous years after recent state legislation eliminated fees the telecommunication companies no longer have to pay municipalities. The City’s property tax revenue collection will be further limited in 2021 due to new state-mandated revenue caps.

City Council will consider the budget in September; the fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

9 thoughts on “Nirenberg Will Support Local Homestead Exemption Without Property Tax Increase

  1. It would be nice if CPS and SAWS would follow the Mayor intentions because citizens are facing so many tax increases and fees for services.

  2. After6 years of voting against and 6 months of saying “Brockhouses’ Homestead Exemption would bankrupt the city” wRong now says “he can find it without costing services…” Wow! And not one word about it from this reporter or Rivard; hypocrisy at it’s finest.

  3. You can thank Councilman Clayton Perry for this. Greg had nothing to do with this until he decided to run for mayor. Clayton has been fighting for this since day 1 after he was elected. Everyone was against it before this election except Clayton Perry.

    • You need to get your facts straight, they were the two consistent votes from when Greg and Clayton were elected 2017. That’s long before running for Mayor in 2019. By the way, Perry hasn’t mentioned or led on any policy or policy change since day one on council.

  4. Now is the time to cut spending and staff.The economy is good and city employees can find jobs in the private sector.

  5. My quick math says the $5,000 reduction on the City of San Antonio portion of the assessment will result in roughly a $30 decrease per property (vs. not having it in place)? Am I doing something incorrectly?

  6. It’s not the tax rate that has our property taxes so high, it’s the unreasonable high assessments of property values. For five years straight my house has seen a $50,000 annual increase. The first year I was able to reduce it by full amount because I had just bought it and proved it. Second year I barely got discount within 10% homestead discount. By third year when I saw the formal board hearings were just there for protocol and not by citizens who listened and saw all my realtor evidende. 4th year I started to pay for annual appraisals of my home as $400 was cheaper than new assessment taxes. EVEN THEN, the BCAD would argue a recent licensed and certified appraisal in favor of their staff appraisers who got it wrong every year. The BCAD needs to keep valuations reasonable as that is where our over inflated tax bills come from. Since only 10% of people protest, values are high and hence a higher tax bill. I’d go for raise the rate and value at market and likely cheaper.

    • I had a brief convo with a realtor friend of mine, and I gotta agree with her about value protests. It’s gonna take a massive amount of public outcry to get BCAD to reasonably and fairly value properties. The amount of people who protest their value just isn’t enough to force BCAD’s hand. If only 10% protest, BCAD has no incentive to be reasonable.

      I think it comes down to a couple of things, really. Citizens need to be educated about their property values, and how property value protests are a valuable tool for them. In addition, I tend to think that a lot of people feel powerless. They get their yearly assessment, and just kinda think “eh, what’s the point of even trying…the County is just gonna raise my values and taxes anyway.”

      I spent a bit of time on social media this year, and provided advice/tips/guidance re: the protest process. In doing that, I realized that more than anything, people just need sound, accurate guidance. Not a mishmash of incoherent, incorrect information, but simple, easy to understand guidance to help them navigate thru the protest process. It’s not a difficult process once you get into the nuts and bolts of it. It’s just a process that, when considered at a cursory level, I think seems pretty daunting to people.

  7. As a citizen of San Antonio all my life grow up in South San Antonio area , seen things change alot .. to no good streets to streets looking great side walks clean looking streets!!! To looking no good again .. I feel to help a little with the city budget stop giving everything for free like city bulky centers charge a small cheap fee for residents, and charge small commercial businesses more but a fee they can afford. Just like the city does with its brush recycling centers. I feel it will be a start to get money back to the city and give our residents lower property taxes. ONE city fills those 30yard dumpsters and take to our two landfills here in San Antonio I can be wrong but I guarantee they charge the city to dump those dumpsters ,plus fuel for city trucks , maintenance, and to pay drivers San Antonio that’s a whole lot of money you are spending for a free service.. it might not make the city millions but it will make some impact.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *