San Antonio has long been recognized for its affordability, but as property values continue to soar, an increasing number of businesses and landowners are reevaluating whether the city is as easy to do business in as it once was.
At an event hosted by Patel | Gaines and the San Antonio Business Journal, business leaders discussed the challenges that come with rising property tax bills, higher interest rates, rising construction costs and filling commercial space vacancies, local business leaders hashed out what San Antonio’s evolving business climate could look like if property values continue to climb.
It isn’t pretty.
Brad Parscale, the panel’s moderator and digital director for Donald J. Trump for President Inc., is a business owner as well as a commercial and residential landowner. He said that property values have increased so dramatically, he’s beginning to reassess whether the city is as affordable for his business as it once was.
“As a commercial property owner for land downtown and homes that I rent out, I’ve seen million-dollar increases,” he said. “It has a significant impact on our bottom line, and property tax increases will soon close the gap between San Antonio being more affordable than other cities.”
There are several pieces of legislation the state is considering to help mitigate the increases cities across Texas have seen in property tax bills, which Senator Paul Bettencourt said were rising by at least 15 percent for some businesses.
Rahul Patel, a managing partner for Patel | Gaines, said he’s seen those increases push businesses out, and that’s an issue that will only become more pronounced as values continue to climb.
“People are deciding twice about whether to buy properties in certain areas or establish their businesses,” Patel said. “Taxes are put on the table immediately, and it’s driving people away.
San Antonio city officials are attempting to mitigate the impact of rising property taxes with incentives or other resources to help cut down the total development costs. But as the City of San Antonio’s Director of Government and Public Affairs Jeff Coyle said, the city is a different market than it was five years ago.
“There’s no question we’ve been a low-value market for a long time, and now, values are going up,” Coyle said. “There’s a benefit to that, but it has it’s issues, too.”