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Proposed Texas amendment could lower property taxes

Posted at 5:53 PM, Apr 29, 2022

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — You’ve probably heard about home values increasing higher and higher in the real-estate market.

The Nueces County Appraisal District’s chief appraiser Ramiro Canales said the average residential home went up in value about 22-28 percent in Nueces County.

A proposed amendment on the May 7 election ballot includes a measure to raise the homestead exemption from $25,000 to $40,000.

Canales said even though home values have shot up, the proposed amendment should still help people out.

“It’s some extra incentive to lower your taxes, not the value, but your taxes,” he said.

However, Canales stresses the exemption is only for homesteaded properties and would not benefit commercial properties. He said the proposed amendment could actually affect schools, if it passes.

“It’s going to be a loss of revenue when you give an exemption. Each one will have an idea as to how much revenue they will lose because of the increase in the exemption,” Canales said.

He said it would be up to local districts and leaders to make up the difference in money that schools could lose.

Kelly Speer, a resident of Corpus Christi from the southside, said she saw her home value increase coming. She said her home went up in value from $225,000 to $261,000.

“Well, I anticipated it because the real estate values are so high. I mean the housing market in Corpus Christi or across the nation, it’s just boomed,” Speer said.

Speer owns a homestead and said her taxes shot up about $600 this year compared to last year.

She added the comparison in her property taxes from 2020 to 2021 wasn’t too different, but this year, she is now seeing the sticker shock on her property.

“Every little bit helps,” Speer said about the proposed amendment to raise the exemption.

Manuel Medrano, a resident of Robstown who owns an abandoned house, said the building shot up double in value compared to last year.

He said he’s confused as to why that could be if the house doesn’t have windows, gas, or electricity.

He doesn’t live in it, but said in order to qualify for the homestead exemption, he might have to take some drastic measures.

“I can tear it down so my taxes can be, I know they will come down to zero,” he said.