Bexar County Commissioners approve University Health System tax exemption for seniors

Property owners over 65 will get $10,000 exemption on value of their primary residence

(SAN ANTONIO, TX) Bexar County Commissioners on Tuesday approved University Health System’s recommendation to create a tax break for property owners over age 65.

Bexar County homeowners over 65 will receive a $10,000 exemption on the value of their primary residence for the purpose of the Bexar County Hospital District’s share of property taxes.

The Hospital District’s Board of Managers last week unanimously voted to recommend that Bexar County Commissioners Court approve the exemption. The exemption will be in effect beginning with the 2018 property valuations.

Rising property values in Bexar County prompted the decision. And community support for University Health System’s Capital Improvement Project, which led to the construction of University Hospital’s Sky Tower and the Clinical Pavilion at the Robert B. Green Campus, has positioned the Health System to give back to the community in this way, said George B. Hernández Jr., president and chief executive officer.

“San Antonio added more new residents last year than any other major U.S. city, increasing the demand for housing,” Hernández said. “We are acutely aware that property values have been rising quickly, and that those on fixed incomes have been particularly affected.

Last year, 124,371 Bexar County property owners would have been eligible for the $10,000 exemption if it had been in effect.

At the current tax rate, the exemption would eliminate an estimated $3.4 million in tax revenue to the Hospital District. That amount would be reduced from the roughly $20 million in additional tax revenues the Hospital District expects to receive from higher property values and new properties on the tax rolls, even though the tax rate is unchanged from the previous year.

In 2017, property taxes made up 23 percent of University Health System’s revenues, one of the lowest rates of all Texas hospital districts. Taxes support a number of programs that improve health, save lives and train future healthcare providers. University Health System:

  • Operates one of two level I trauma center for adults and the only Level I pediatric trauma center and burn program in South Texas
  • Provides healthcare services and financial assistance through its CareLink program for low-income residents without access to affordable health coverage
  • Is the primary teaching partner for UT Health physicians
  • Assures EMS services are available for residents in unincorporated Bexar County
  • Sponsors the local mental health and mental retardation authorities
  • Operates two school-based health centers and a number of preventive health clinics
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