Sunday, June 6, 2010

Where do Your Property Taxes Go? Bexar County

A recap of the 2010 property tax bill of $5,029.23 for a $189,930 house.

$58.27 goes to Bexar County Road Maintenance and Flood Control
$30.30 goes to San Antonio River Authority
$258.03 goes to Alamo Community College District (NW Vista, SAC, St. Phillips, etc)
$505.66 goes to the University Health System (University Hospital)
$552.65 goes to Bexar County
$1,074.42 goes to the City of San Antonio
$2,540.31 goes to the School District you are in (In this case Northside ISD)

So $552.66 of your property taxes goes to Bexar County.  The property tax represents 52% of the county's revenue.  Other revenue sources are Grants and Contributions (25%), Charges for Service (14%), Motor Vehicle taxes (3%), Other taxes (a portion the sales tax, hotel & motel tax, bingo tax and short term rental taxes) (3%), Investment income (1%) and Miscellaneous income (2%).

Bexar County spends its revenue in the following ways:  Public Safety (36%), Judicial (16%), General Government (15%), Public Works(15%), Health and Public Welfare (6%), Community Venue (5%), Debt (4%),  Education and Recreation (2%), Commissary (1%).

Bexar County is the only government for people who live outside of cities but within the county.  It also provides services to anyone living within the county.  The county provides similar services to county residents that cities provide, but they cover a much wider territory with a lot less money.  Debt being paid by the county refers to bond issue debt and the commissary is in the Sheriff's office.

The county provides public safety through the Sheriff's office, the Bexar County Constables office and the Bexar County Jail.  The County also has a medical examiner and a forensics toxicology lab. It also provides fire and emergency services in the county.  The county is also responsible for a number of different types of courts, Justice of the Peace Courts, the County Court, District Courts and some Appellate Courts.  If you ever find yourself in Probate Court constesting a will, it will be a county court.

General government activities for Bexar County include, issuing marriage licenses, voter's registration, the appraissal district, the Metropolitan Planning Organization, and issuing land deeds.

As I mentioned before, the county pays a portion of all public works projects (road and flood) throughout the county.  They are also responsible for bridges and storm water quality in the county.

The county's involvement in health and public welfare includes a $6 million donation to Haven for Hope, participation in the University Health System, and the Center for Health Care Services which helps people with mental and developmental disabilities and substance abuse challenges.

Community venues in the county include the River Walk, youth and amateur sports facilities, Freeman Colleseum and AT&T Sports Arena, and Cultural Arts centers like the Museo Alameda.  These venues are mostly covered by Hotel and Motel Taxes and Short Term Rental Taxes.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization educates neighborhoods on how to use their infrastructure to encourage walking and biking to area restaurants, schools, businesses and parks. It also offers bicycle safety classes and sets up Bike Rodeos.

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