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Bexar County Appraisal District Hopes to Settle Protests

Texas Travel

The Bexar County Appraisal District has received about seventy thousand appraisal protests so far and is expecting a total of one hundred thousand, about the same number as last year.




The protest deadline was May 31st, but the Appraisal District, is still processing mailed in protests. Mike Amezquita is the Chief Appraiser.  He says if homeowners aren’t keeping up with real estate transactions in their neighborhoods, they may not know what their homes are actually worth.

“They may have bought their home for $100,000 and that was ten or 12 year ago, and now they’re in a neighborhood that’s selling at $300,000,” Amezquita says. “Or they haven’t recently refinanced. There’s a lot of people who actually own their homes outright in San Antonio and they may not have any reason to be actively engaged in the real estate market.”

Amezquita says 80% of the protests in the past have been settled informally by meetings between tax payers and the staff, leaving 20% formally going to hearing.

“Try to come in with a calm, cool, collected attitude,” Amezquita says.  “Come in prepared to discuss the value, not to argue. My staff is fully engaged and willing to make changes if it’s needed. The best way to do that is for the property owner to bring as much evidence as we may or may not have on the property.”

Amezquita says taxpayers who protest receive an evidence packet during the meeting containing sales information explaining how a property has been valued.

Louisa Jonas is an independent public radio producer, environmental writer, and radio production teacher based in Baltimore. She is thrilled to have been a PRX STEM Story Project recipient for which she produced a piece about periodical cicadas. Her work includes documentaries about spawning horseshoe crabs and migratory shorebirds aired on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. Louisa previously worked as the podcast producer at WYPR 88.1FM in Baltimore. There she created and produced two documentary podcast series: Natural Maryland and Ascending: Baltimore School for the Arts. The Nature Conservancy selected her documentaries for their podcast Nature Stories. She has also produced for the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s Distillations Podcast. Louisa is editor of the book Backyard Carolina: Two Decades of Public Radio Commentary. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her training also includes journalism fellowships from the Science Literacy Project and the Knight Digital Media Center, both in Berkeley, CA. Most recently she received a journalism fellowship through Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where she traveled to Toolik Field Station in Arctic Alaska to study climate change. In addition to her work as an independent producer, she teaches radio production classes at Howard Community College to a great group of budding journalists. She has worked as an environmental educator and canoe instructor but has yet to convince a great blue heron to squawk for her microphone…she remains undeterred.