Let’s Talk About Property Taxes

Opinion/Editorial:

Sticker shock is what thousands of Bexar County homeowners felt as they opened their 2015 Notice of Appraised Value. While the county politicians pretend they did not raise taxes, the increase in appraised values of homes is in fact a tax increase. In some cases, that increased value is more than ten percent.

But I use the term “homeowner” loosely.

The right to own property is a cornerstone of any free society, but do we actually own our property? City ordinances determine how many pets you can have, where and what you can build on your property, how many and what kind of poultry you can raise. Try not mowing, you’ll see what power the city has.

Cities aren’t the only entities taking away private property rights. The county, school district, river authority, health system, and college district are slicing away too. Consider this, even if you owed nothing to any bank for your place, you still have to pay property taxes or you lose your home. Lose, as in, government authorities will seize it, throw you out, and auction it.

Homeowners also lose their homes when the city decides it needs it for “public projects.” People who live outside of some of these tax districts lose their right of refusal when the city annexes their areas.

Most of us purchase homes for a sense of security. We purchase them with money that we earn through jobs or investments. That money is taxed. In effect, property taxes are additional taxes on what you purchased with money that was already taxed.

Government officials know this and that’s why they freeze taxes when the owner hits retirement age. They know too many people on fixed incomes cannot afford the extra ten percent tax raising your home value adds. They think this makes them good guys, but what about younger families with children who are barely getting by? Are they not entitled to the American Dream?

Bexar County and the other taxing entities are all banking on doing this because they don’t think the majority will protest. Every single one of you reading this should. Turn over the form, fill it out and send it in. Or go on-line and E-file. Make them prove their assessment and show them that you know what they are doing.

 

See also:

Property Tax Remedies
http://comptroller.texas.gov/taxinfo/proptax

Notice of Protest Form
http://comptroller.texas.gov/taxinfo/taxforms/50-132.pdf

Hearing Request Form
http://comptroller.texas.gov/taxinfo/taxforms/50-131.pdf