Monday, June 24, 2019

Mayor Nirenberg Says He'll Support a Homestead Exemption Without Upping Tax Rates to Offset It

Posted By on Mon, Jun 24, 2019 at 3:19 PM

click to enlarge Mayor Ron Nirenberg - JADE ESTEBAN ESTRADA
  • Jade Esteban Estrada
  • Mayor Ron Nirenberg
Mayor Ron Nirenberg said he'll vote for a homestead property tax exemption when City Council meets Monday evening on the issue — and he'll do so without hiking tax rates to offset the exemption.

"I want to make clear today that I support enacting a homestead exemption without a tax rate increase," the mayor said in a statement texted to Current. "Homeowners have been asking for property tax relief. I intend to provide it with no strings attached."

Homestead exemptions — available in virtually every other big Texas city — shelter a set amount of a home's value from being taxed. They apply only to a resident's primary dwelling, as the name suggests, and not to rental properties or vacation homes.

Proponents such as District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry have argued an exemption would provide immediate tax relief for homeowners. While San Antonio hasn't raised its property tax rate in years, residents have still felt a pocketbook squeeze due to rapidly rising appraisal values.



However, city numbers show Perry's proposed homestead exemption would slice $6 million from the city budget. More than half that amount would come from the general fund, which supports a variety of municipal services.

If cuts are necessary to pay for the exemption, Nirenberg said he would look for reductions that wouldn't cut into public safety or essential services.

Council will meet on the issue at 5 p.m. Monday and is expected to take a vote. It has until a state-imposed July 1 deadline to adopt an exemption.

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