Dallas City Council considering property tax exemption for seniors

The Dallas City Council is considering a property tax exemption for the elderly.

The proposed idea would raise the exemption given to seniors and the disabled from $64,000 to $90,000. That would save the owner of a $240,000 home about $200 a year.

"Too many people in Dallas are being driven from their homes based on this boom economy," Dallas councilman Rickey Callahan said.

The last time Dallas seniors got financial help with rising home values was in 1986. With values rising over the years, some councilmembers and residents say the city is due to raise the exemption.

"Most people over here, if they own their home, they don't want to lose their home because they can't pay property taxes," 67-year old Mary Milam said. "I definitely don't want to lose mine."

Councilwoman Sandy Greyson would like to find a way to just give the money to those who need it.

"We have some wealthy seniors," Greyson said, "Is this going to be means tested? Or are we just going to give all citizens this exemption."

Mayor Mike Rawlings is also opposed to giving wealthy senior homeowners a tax break, but he wants to make sure people like Milam don't lose their homes.

The move would cost the city approximately $14 million annually.