Every year, the majority of Bexar County’s revenue comes from its property taxes, estimated for the 2020-21 fiscal year at nearly $516 million.

Looking at the top taxpayers shows some of the largest concentrations of capital, or land assets, in the city.

The Bexar County Appraisal District releases an annual list of the top 10 taxpayers for every taxing entity in the county, including schools, emergency districts and others.

For the sake of clarity, this article focuses only on the taxes paid to the county. Bexar County’s tax rate is slightly less than 30 cents per $100 valuation, following a mostly symbolic reduction in the rate from last year.

#1 Microsoft

Appraised market value of properties: $1.74 billion

Exemptions: None

Estimated property taxes to county: $5.23 million

Microsoft’s tax windfall for Bexar County comes primarily from its data centers, which it is building throughout the far West Side. The software giant has sought to concentrate data centers in San Antonio since 2005, when it completed its first data center in the city, a 427,000 square-foot facility in Westover Hills. It’s built more at a steady pace since then.

Records from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation show Microsoft has up to five data centers under construction or set to begin construction soon.

Despite the vast size of these data centers, relatively few workers are employed at these locations. For example, Microsoft’s 1-million-square-foot center in the Texas Research Park is expected to employ about 150 workers when completed in 2022.

#2 H-E-B

Appraised market value of properties: $1.73 billion

Exemptions: $3.74 million

Estimated property taxes to county: $5.19 million

In contrast to the relatively few workers employed at Microsoft compared to its footprint, H-E-B is San Antonio’s biggest private employer with an estimated 20,000 workers, according to figures from Greater: SATX, formerly known as the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation.

The homegrown grocery giant says its average store is around 70,000 square feet. But its largest store is the 182,000-square-foot H-E-B Plus at Loop 1604 and Bandera Road, which will be expanded by another 24,000 square feet. H-E-B also has grocery distribution centers on the East Side.

H-E-B’s corporate headquarters is also in San Antonio. Its campus on South Flores Street was valued at more than $49 million.

#3 Methodist Healthcare System of San Antonio

Appraised market value of properties: $794.09 million

Exemptions: $31.18 million

Estimated property taxes to county: $2.29 million

Methodist Healthcare System of San Antonio operates nearly two dozen health care facilities, including nine acute care hospitals in the city. The system is owned by Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, a San Antonio nonprofit, as well as HCA Healthcare, a for-profit company headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.

Its flagship Methodist Hospital, established in 1963, is one of the largest hospitals in the country with nearly 1,000 licensed beds.  It also offers San Antonio’s only heart transplant program.

#4 Toyota

Appraised market value of properties: $856.27 million

Exemptions: $146 million

Estimated property taxes to county: $2.13 million

Enticed by local tax abatements, Toyota opened its Tundra pickup manufacturing plant in 2006 on the far South Side. The site was originally supposed to be home to an assembly plant, but evolved over the construction to become a complete automotive production site. Since then, numerous suppliers also have moved to the area.

In 2019, the Japanese auto manufacturer announced a $391 million expansion of the plant, the largest capital infusion since the factory began production.

Toyota currently employs about 3,000 workers at its San Antonio factory.

#5 Walmart

Appraised market value of properties: $639.27 million

Exemptions: None

Estimated property taxes to county: $1.92 million

San Antonio has 29 Walmart stores, more than any city in the United States. Its first location opened on Nacogdoches Road in 1984.

A big contributor to its property taxes is its sheer footprint. On average, the company says its neighborhood markets are about 42,000 square feet each, and its Supercenters are about four times as large as that.

Its most highly appraised store was its Supercenter in Universal City, at 510 Kitty Hawk Rd., which was valued at more than $15 million in 2021.

#6 Baptist Health System

Appraised market value of properties: $497.18 million

Exemptions: None

Estimated property taxes to county: $1.4 million

Like H-E-B, Baptist Health System is one of the city’s largest employers. Around 7,500 employees work for its many hospitals, urgent care clinics, imaging centers and free-standing emergency departments.

Founded in 1903, Baptist Medical Center is one of San Antonio’s oldest hospitals.

#7 USAA

Appraised market value of properties: $355 million

Exemptions: None

Estimated property taxes to county: $1.06 million

USAA has about seven large office spaces throughout the city. The biggest among them is its corporate headquarters on the Northwest Side, which at more than 5 million square feet is enough to take its own zip code.

However, the financial services firm — actually a collection of companies — is trying to downsize its office footprint, at least temporarily, because so many of its employees are working remotely, at least part of the time. The company recently confirmed it is seeking to exit and sublease its downtown office on the corner of North St. Mary’s and Convent streets. Last year, it also put up for sublease its Vista Corporate Center, a large office space on the North Side.

#8 The Shops at La Cantera

Appraised market value of properties: $329.65 million

Exemptions: None

Estimated property taxes to county: $989,000

The Shops at La Cantera is a sprawling, open-air mall in La Cantera, a master-planned resort community developed by USAA’s real estate wing that includes Six Flags Fiesta Texas. There are over 150 shops and restaurants at the retail center, which debuted in 2005. A second phase opened in 2008.

While roughly 1.3 million square feet of the land was appraised at just around $70,000, the development on top of it is worth far more, according to Bexar County Appraisal District records.

#9 AT&T

Appraised market value of properties: $308.18 million

Exemptions: $850

Estimated property taxes to county: $924,500

AT&T may have broken the hearts of county officials nearly 13 years ago when it moved its headquarters from San Antonio to Dallas, but it’s still a notable contributor to county coffers. The telecommunications company, which reported nearly $172 billion in revenue last year, retains ownership of several office spaces, such as its 476,000-square-foot building downtown at 105 Auditorium Circle, currently valued at $8.5 million.

Still more valuable are the $131 million in telephone lines, field boxes and associated land, according to Bexar County Appraisal District records.

#10 Frankel Family Trust

Appraised market value of properties: $307.4 million

Exemptions: None

Estimated property taxes to county: $922,000

Based in Santa Ana, California, the company has developed several luxury apartments in the city. One example is the Villas at the Rim, which has all the usual high-end features like tennis courts and a resort spa, but also ritzy amenities like a court for bocce ball, an Italian yard game.

Other complexes are the Villas at Oakwell Farms, The Vintage, Estates of Northwoods, Villas at Medical Center, The Lodge at Westover Hills, and Villas of Vista Del Norte.

Waylon Cunningham

Waylon Cunningham writes about business and technology. Contact him at waylon@sareport.org.