How San Antonio Property Taxes Are Calculated
Let's be real: no one likes property taxes. However, if you're on track to become a homeowner, there's a solid chance you'll have to make peace with them...and it might not be as hard as you think.
Besides being a legal homeownership necessity, property taxes actually directly support your local neighborhood and quality of life. This monthly fee supports and sustains helpful local services like public schools, police and fire departments, and parks and recreation. (Plus, your property tax payments can be folded into your mortgage payments...so you don't have to keep track of them).
We figure that the more you know and understand about San Antonio property taxes, the less of a chore they'll become (and the less anxiety they'll produce).
Property Tax Breakdown
The city of San Antonio lies within Bexar County and therefore has its property taxes assessed by the county. Each year, government officials conduct a thorough review of the county's needs for budgets and operations. They also examine their debt burden to determine what needs to be repaid. These needs are compared with the taxable values of the properties within Bexar County.
Property tax rates are set each year and are dependant upon this data. Officials further rely on the Truth and Taxation Laws to help them determine the appropriate rates. The Tax Assessor Collector of Bexar County applies these rates to the values of the properties within the county. Tax statements are then sent to all property owners.
The tax rate varies from year to year depending on the county's needs. For 2018, officials have set the tax rate at 34.677 cents per $100 of taxable value for maintenance and operations. Property taxes for debt repayment are set at 21.150 cents per $100 of taxable value. The "taxable value" of any property is typically not the same as the market value of the property. You also may hear the taxable value of a property being referred to as the "assessed value." The assessed value is determined by the county and is generally less than the market value of the property.
"Inside" vs "Outside" the City Limits
Obviously, not every property is equal in value...and the various tax rates within the city reflect this. For instance, an owner residing within the city limits may be subject to a city tax that a homeowner living outside of an incorporated city would not have to pay. This can mean significant savings, particularly over the course of several years. (Click here to read about which San Antonio neighborhoods give you a break on property taxes.)
Property Tax Exemptions
Some property owners may be eligible to receive certain property tax exemptions. In Bexar County, these include an exemption for homeowners who are over the age of 65 and claim their property as their homestead. A maximum exemption of $65,000 is available to these individuals.
Similarly, disabled veterans may be entitled to an exemption of between $5,000 and $12,000. Other disabled persons also may qualify for an exemption of up to $12,500 if they meet certain requirements. None of these exemptions are automatic. People who believe they may be eligible for exemptions must submit an application for the exemption prior to May 1 each year. These exemptions can save you thousands of dollars over several years, making these applications a necessity.
Property taxes don't have to give you anxiety. When you understand tax rates and assessment values, it takes the mystery out of the process. Don't let property taxes keep you from realizing your dream of becoming a homeowner!
About the Author
James Hausman is a licensed Senior Property Tax Consultant at Assessment Technologies and is considered an expert throughout Texas in property tax issues relating to the medical and healthcare industries. In addition, James is a member of various professional organizations, including the Institute for Professionals in Taxation (IPT) and the Texas Association of Property Tax Professionals (TAPTP).
James is a 1986 graduate of Texas A & M University, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.