Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce hosts property tax increase workshop

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The Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is trying to help homeowners with rising property taxes.

One homeowner says her property taxes went up several thousand dollars just within the last year.

“It doesn’t seem fair,” a Waco homeowner says.

This is how local community members feel about their property taxes, which have been on the rise for a number of reasons.

“The Gaines have an obvious impact on Waco,” says Joe Bobbitt, of the McLennan County Appraisal District. He says workshops like this are a way to help homeowners combat these hikes.

“The most common is the Homestead. As long as you live in the home and that’s your primary residence, come January 1, you’re eligible for a $25,000 exemption,” Bobbitt says. “If you’re over 65 years old, you get additional  $10,000 exemption. That’s a total of $35,000. Disabled person exemptions get a similar exemption as those over 65. Then there is a disabled veteran’s exemption, depending on the level of disability. If you want hundred percent disabled and you can’t work as a disabled veteran, then you’re totally tax exempt.”

Waco Homeowner Isabel Lozano says her property taxes have gone up by several thousand dollars over the last year.

“It has an impact financially. So the extra disposable income that I had maybe to vacation, and now I’m paying in my taxes,” Lozano says.

But she says the Gaines driving up costs is exciting.

“I love it. I am one that I think it had a very positive impact on our city,” Lozano says.

Even though some don’t share her same excitement.

“I’m confused about the land swings,” one landowner says.

“My income doesn’t go up that high,” a retired homeowner says.

Bobbitt says exemptions like the Homestead should offset the hikes. However, there are certain realities homeowners may have to face.

“If their house is actually worth what we have it appraised for and they can’t afford the taxes, then that just means the market has outpaced what they can afford. So, unfortunately, that may be a reality that they may have to look at,” said Bobbitt.

For more information and for workshop dates: Click Here

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