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Old 10-12-2007, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Auburn Hills of Live Oak Texas 78233
29 posts, read 104,297 times
Reputation: 21

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I just wanted to know if this was happing to anyone here on the board ..
A friend of mine bought a home about five years ago in Alamo Heights for about 290k
A two story 2600sqft home built in the late 30ís . When he got the house the appraised value was at 273k. Over the last five years he has done nothing to the house or lot other then ageing five more years, now on his 2007 tax statement the value is over 500k
Thatís over 200k in appreciation in five years, and he is having to go fight it agene and they wonít give in ,, his taxes this year was over 13.000.00 with about 6000 to school..

He comes over sometimes and reads this forum and some say buy in a area that will appreciate and how some single out the 281 area .He tells me he is looking to buy out side of Bexar County
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Old 10-13-2007, 06:20 AM
 
1,276 posts, read 3,433,607 times
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Did he ever apply for homestead exemption? My understanding is that if you apply for a homestead exemption one of the things that is done is that your home cannot appreciate more than 10% a year....I could be wrong with my understanding of this...someone correct me if I'm wrong?
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Old 10-13-2007, 07:01 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
7,629 posts, read 14,337,726 times
Reputation: 18705
The bad news is the taxes...the good news is if he does want to move outside the city tax area, he has almost doubled his initial investment in 5 years...most of us have not seen that at all. Means he can put all his original money back in his pocket and pay cash for something with his appreciation.
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Old 10-13-2007, 07:14 AM
 
Location: 281 north of 1604 - otherwise known as traffic hell
450 posts, read 1,455,308 times
Reputation: 174
The homestead exemption is correct. The appraisal value can go up by more than 10%. Actually it can go up as high as they want it to go up. However, you can't be assessed taxes on any of the appraisal that is more than a 10% increase.

Basically in real estate like the heights area you can just assume that you will be taxed as though your property value went up 10% each year. IT will more than likely go up more than that and I can't imagine a situation where it would go up less than that.

If he didn't apply for the homestead exemption - which it sounds like - he can apply today and they can apply the exemption retro actively. I am not sure how far they will go back, but they went two years on our home. Maybe that was because they "never received my application for exemption." (read: lost it).

Tell him good luck
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:10 AM
 
Location: San Antonio Texas
11,435 posts, read 16,425,802 times
Reputation: 5224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juan45 View Post
I just wanted to know if this was happing to anyone here on the board ..
A friend of mine bought a home about five years ago in Alamo Heights for about 290k
A two story 2600sqft home built in the late 30ís . When he got the house the appraised value was at 273k. Over the last five years he has done nothing to the house or lot other then ageing five more years, now on his 2007 tax statement the value is over 500k
Thatís over 200k in appreciation in five years, and he is having to go fight it agene and they wonít give in ,, his taxes this year was over 13.000.00 with about 6000 to school..

He comes over sometimes and reads this forum and some say buy in a area that will appreciate and how some single out the 281 area .He tells me he is looking to buy out side of Bexar County

you can thank the spendthrift city council mbs for not passing a substantial tax decrease over the taxpayers' objections.
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:55 AM
 
168 posts, read 432,555 times
Reputation: 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juan45 View Post
I just wanted to know if this was happing to anyone here on the board ..
A friend of mine bought a home about five years ago in Alamo Heights for about 290k
A two story 2600sqft home built in the late 30ís . When he got the house the appraised value was at 273k. Over the last five years he has done nothing to the house or lot other then ageing five more years, now on his 2007 tax statement the value is over 500k
Thatís over 200k in appreciation in five years, and he is having to go fight it agene and they wonít give in ,, his taxes this year was over 13.000.00 with about 6000 to school..

He tells me he is looking to buy out side of Bexar County
For what it's worth, the Alamo Heights school district has the lowest property tax rate(percentagewise) in Bexar county. Up until the novel property tax cuts by then-Governor Bush in the latter nineties, Southwest Independent School District, one of the poorest districts, had the lowest rate.

If your friend wants a lower tax rate, then try Comal County just north of San Antonio where the new lower rate is 1.70% versus the new Alamo Heights rate of 2.23%. More important is that the appraisals for comparable properties in Comal and neighboring counties are no where near as insane as they are here in Bexar. Bexar residents are just getting screwed.

We just finished a protracted discussion on property taxes in Bexar County and what your friend is experiencing is "appraisal creep" or so the term has been dubbed locally. The majority of the price acceleration in appraisal values has occurred since 2005 which happens to be the same year that our current overzealous tax appraiser was hired in Bexar County.

Here are links to that expanded discussion and the other links which you might find helpful. The subject was covered thoroughly.

Property Taxes: property taxes

Overly aggressive property appraisals have directly resulted in substantially higher taxes in just 3 short years....
http://www.city-data.com/forum/1672943-post8.html

Property Tax Linx http://www.city-data.com/forum/1667235-post3.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by dendox View Post
....The appraisal value can go up by more than 10%. Actually it can go up as high as they want it to go up. However, you can't be assessed taxes on any of the appraisal that is more than a 10% increase.
This is all true. While the assessment for a homestead is limited to a 10% increase each year, the balance of the unapplied higher appraisal, also known as the Homestead Cap, continues to incorporate into the assessment value at a rate of 10% each subsequent year as necessary until it is exhausted. This occurs notwithstanding the likelihood for additional appraisal increases in the following years that would be cumulative to the original appraisal increase.

Since 2005, in Bexar County, many upscale neighborhoods have experienced a minimum of 30-40% increase or more in appraisal values and it's all based on a handful of sales in each subdivision each year. It's all done on a spreadsheet. I believe the answer to the problem is to fire this appraiser and bring in someone that isn't in bed with the tax entities. The appraiser is supposed to be an independent arbiter for both the taxpayer and the tax entities instead of a rubberstamp YES man for the taxing authorities. The effect of our appraiser's actions have only served to eliminate the need for local tax entities to raise your tax rates. The appraiser does this for them through increased appraisals that well surpass inflation rates. Since he isn't elected, he doesn't care.

If you don't think your local government has run amuck, then take a trip downtown to Frio street and look at the lavish offices of the Bexar Appraisal District. This facility easily outflanks the spending and investment of most corporate work environments and it was done on your dime.

If you have time, go to the BCAD site, Bexar Appraisal District and look up your property here in Bexar County. Notice the newly inserted TAX ENTITY at the bottom of tax entities that currently tax you. The new Tax Entity code "CAD" represents "BEXAR APPRAISAL DISTRICT." Although the tax rate for this NEW tax entity is ZERO, this ostensibly leads one to conclude that a plan is in the works for these spendthifts to add even more property taxes to your bill in the near future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dendox View Post
If he didn't apply for the homestead exemption - which it sounds like - he can apply today and they can apply the exemption retro actively. I am not sure how far they will go back, but they went two years on our home. Maybe that was because they "never received my application for exemption." (read: lost it).
Rental properties and commercial properties cannot use the homestead cap and must take the full brunt of each new tax appraisal increase as it occurs.

As for retroactive application of the homestead exemption, the county will apply the exemption and subsequent refund only as far back as the last tax year. He has until 31 December, 2007 to apply the homestead exemption and obtain a refund for noth the 2006 and 2007 taxes overpaid if he hasn't done so already.

On a $500K home in Alamo Heights though, the homestead exemption is worth about $200 a year so your friend should anticipate no more than a $400 refund and most likely less.
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Old 10-13-2007, 10:13 AM
 
Location: 281 north of 1604 - otherwise known as traffic hell
450 posts, read 1,455,308 times
Reputation: 174
MAstercone - very well thought out response. I have to disagree with you to an extent. I agree that the appraisal rates are growing seemingly faster than they should be. IT seems quite obvious actually. However you relate that to the greedy SOBs that work for the county and city. Let me preface this by saying yes, they need our money.

However, the property rates as they are assesssed now, are about what I would sell my house for should I put it on the market. In years past the tax rates were on some arbitrary number that never really reflected the value or worth of the house. I can remember my inlaws selling a house and one of the selling points was - "you will pay X thousand for the home, but will only be assessed tax on the BCAD value which is 20% lower than the purchase price."

I know that this was still relatively prevalent until the new appraiser got here. Now, I would prefer for my house to be assessed low so that I can save money. BUT, I don't think there is some giant conspiracy to steal from the people. If you couldn't legitimately sell your home for the appraisers assessed value - contest it. Will be a pain in the a$$, but a likely victory.
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Old 10-13-2007, 10:22 AM
 
3,219 posts, read 7,987,284 times
Reputation: 1411
These three piece thugs are ripping the homeowners of Bexar County off. I would love to see the school district detail financial statements
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Old 10-13-2007, 12:02 PM
 
168 posts, read 432,555 times
Reputation: 113
Default Can you really trust the government?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dendox View Post
I agree that the appraisal rates are growing seemingly faster than they should be. IT seems quite obvious actually. However you relate that to the greedy SOBs that work for the county and city.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dendox View Post
Let me preface this by saying yes, they need our money.
I actually appreciate your response and disagreement. Government at all levels today operate in an adversarial system. They want to get as much as they can from YOU without having to pay the political price for attracting the ire of the taxpayers with a hike in taxes. The tax appraiser has unrelentingly increased our appraisals so that the elected officials don't have to be the bearer of this bad news. The appraiser knows we cannot fire him. When they desire to spend even more money than what they have, they dishonestly package it as a "Tax Cut" or "No New Taxes" when you are actually paying for it. This is government basically lying to the public because they know there are enough sympathetic taxpayers out there like yourself that either believe or want to believe that government is doing right by them.

What would happen if the taxpayers drew the line and said no to the government on tax hikes? Would the government go broke? No. They would make do with what they have.

We are the check and balance to this process. If you never say no, I can guarantee you that your taxes will continue to rise each and every year because you are giving the government permission to do it. In the past few years, more and more taxpayers, like you, seem willing to give the government the benefit of the doubt. My only response for you are these quotes from over 200 years ago in America:

ďA government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have." Thomas Jefferson

"Man will ultimately be governed by God or tyrants." Benjamin Franklin

"Power over a man's substance is power over his will." Alexander Hamilton


Quote:
Originally Posted by dendox View Post
However, the property rates as they are assessed now, are about what I would sell my house for should I put it on the market. In years past the tax rates were on some arbitrary number that never really reflected the value or worth of the house. I can remember my inlaws selling a house and one of the selling points was - "you will pay X thousand for the home, but will only be assessed tax on the BCAD value which is 20% lower than the purchase price."
In years past, the assessor would make note of a sales price but still kept the appraisal value comparably in line with that of the other homes in a subdivision. Back then, the Bexar appraiser, as many other counties still practice today, would review and raise or lower rates accordingly with an appraisal once every three years. This allowed for a more accurate appraisal as real estate pricing trends change constantly.

Today, the Bexar appraiser is evaluating homes each and every year so that the county can quickly incorporate the new higher levels of real estate values into the tax system. If they waited for the customary three year period to do this, they wouldn't be able to raise everyone's tax value by 40% or more in one year. All of the property values in Bexar County have risen at least 30% in the past three years and in popular neighborhoods, the figure is well above 40%. I'm betting if there is a drop in real estate values, which can happen in this market, that one of two things will happen. One, the appraiser will move at a snail's pace to adjust real estate values downward or, two, he will just revert back to the three year appraisal option in order to prolong the inevitable and deprive taxpayers the due adjustment in their property values in order to maintain the level of high taxes that the tax entities have come to enjoy.

What our appraiser has done is taken full advantage of a hyper-inflated real estate market(values rising faster than inflation) as he imposes an increased appraisal value based only on a handful of sales in each subdivision throughout the year. If you live in a 200-500 home subdivision, and the average sales price of 7 homes has increased by 24% as of the 1st of January, you can assuredly look forward to all of the homes in your subdivision increasing by that percentage amount for the next tax year. Barring a successful protest, this becomes the final result.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dendox View Post
I know that this was still relatively prevalent until the new appraiser got here. Now, I would prefer for my house to be assessed low so that I can save money.
As long as you FULLY believe in the government's promises to you, YOU WILL NEVER SAVE MONEY. You cannot have it both ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dendox View Post
BUT, I don't think there is some giant conspiracy to steal from the people.
I never said there was a conspiracy but it is clear that government has this lower, condescending opinion of the taxpayer to the point that they know they can get away with this because no one challenges them. The government knows that they have more sympathizers than angry taxpayers to the point that we no longer matter. When they sell a tax hike, they know to focus on the suckers and to marginalize their opponents by labeling them as malcontents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dendox View Post
If you couldn't legitimately sell your home for the appraisers assessed value - contest it. Will be a pain in the a$$, but a likely victory.
Well, what's the use of contesting your home value after you sell it? And, as for the appraisal protest process, don't get me started. The Bexar appraiser says that 75% of all protests are resolved at the informal hearing. What he doesn't tell you is that almost all of those result in the protest being rejected and the taxpayer gives up and avoids the formal hearing feeling defeated. This subject alone could become another thread.
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Old 10-13-2007, 03:09 PM
 
Location: 281 north of 1604 - otherwise known as traffic hell
450 posts, read 1,455,308 times
Reputation: 174
I feel like you are missing my point - which wasn't really obvious (after reading my post again).

I am content with the appraisal value on my home because I feel it accurately reflects its value/worth. Like I said, if you don't think it is accurate because it is way more than you could get SHOULD you choose to sell it, then protest it.

That was my major point.

Also - your theory that says - we can all just say no and they will make due. Uh yeah sure. IF we lived in an ideal fictional place we could pull something like that off. I am sure you didn't mean literally, but if people don't pay their home taxes they lose their homes.

That is one process the government is plenty fast to act on. If they want your money bad enough your house is theirs.

Last edited by dendox; 10-13-2007 at 03:10 PM.. Reason: spelling
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