CONTACT: Erin Nichols, 210-216-9205
SAN ANTONIO (June 20, 2018) — Today, the San Antonio City Council Governance Committee approved a request by District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez for a comprehensive study examining how ad valorem valuation practices in Bexar County (as compared to other Texas counties) impact homeowners and economic development in San Antonio.
“Government has a tendency to be insensitive to the consequences that taxation has on the taxpayer,” said Councilman Pelaez. “All of us deserve a government that is concerned for the impact taxation has on the cost of homeownership, the burden on business, and our region’s economic development. The results of this study will provide objective and trustworthy data that will allow San Antonians to have an informed dialogue about taxes, threats to our city’s competitiveness, and the impact tax practices have on our ability to meet future housing needs.”
Based on conversations with residents and the business community, it became apparent that a comprehensive study is needed in order to better understand the ad valorem valuation process, as it affects our current and future housing needs; infill development goals; the cost of real estate; our jobs competitiveness; the tourism industry’s profitability; the cost to small businesses; and the impact on our other anchor industries.
District 7 Councilman Ana Sandoval, who sits on the Governance Committee and signed onto the Councilman’s CCR, also shared her support for the study. “My office and I planned to host two property tax appraisal workshops this spring, and what I heard from residents was moving. We ended up hosting four workshops to meet the demand,” said Councilwoman Sandoval. “Though what we can do at the local level is limited, I believe we must do our best on behalf of our residents and that requires we take a hard look at how our appraisal system impacts San Antonio.”
Additionally, Councilman Peláez requested that city staff’s study includes an equity impact breakdown (district by district and census tracts) of BCAD’s tax valuation practices and protest/appeal/arbitration/lawsuit outcomes. He also requested City staff study and propose how COSA can improve communication to taxpayers about how their valuations are conducted and their legal rights to appeal, protest, arbitrate, and sue BCAD.
Following today’s meeting the City of San Antonio will issue a request for proposal (RFP) to find a company that will conduct the study.