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Changes to the Homestead Exemption Applications in Texas

Aug. 30, 2011

CPA Broadcast Services
Changes to the Homestead Exemption Applications in Texas Podcast

INTRO by Leticia Torres:
Welcome to this Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Podcast, produced by the Communications Division. I’m Leticia Torres.

Our topic today is changes to the homestead exemption applications in Texas.

Our interview is with R.J DeSilva, Spokesman for the Comptroller’s office.

Let’s start by discussing the new law. What does it require of Texas homeowners and when does it go into effect?

R.J DeSilva:
Starting Sept. 1, homeowners who apply for a new property tax homestead exemption in Texas must send two documents of proof they live in the house they claim as their principal residence. The first document is a copy of the homeowner’s Texas driver’s license or state identification card. The second document needed is a copy of the homeowner’s vehicle registration receipt. Those copies must be sent with the homestead application and the address on those documents must match the address for which the homestead exemption is requested.

Leticia:
What if the homeowner doesn’t own a vehicle?

R.J DeSilva:
If the homeowner doesn’t own a vehicle they can send a current utility bill showing name and address, along with an affidavit provided in the application indicating non-ownership of a vehicle. And again the address on the utility bill must be the same as the address on the application.

Leticia:
Does this new requirement apply to homeowners who already have homestead exemptions?

R.J DeSilva:
No, this requirement does not apply to homeowners who already have the homestead exemptions. This only affects new applications for exemptions sent to appraisal districts beginning Sept. 1. 2011.

Leticia:
What about those people seeking a homestead exemption on their manufactured or mobile home?

R.J DeSilva:
They too have to comply with the proof of residency requirement, beginning Sept. 1, 2011. But they also must provide proof of purchase of the home and a statement of ownership and location issued by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

Leticia:
What types of homestead exemptions are there in Texas?

R.J DeSilva:
There are several exemptions.

  • General homestead exemption
  • Over-65 exemption
  • Disability exemption
  • Disabled veterans exemption
  • Extension of exemption for a surviving spouse
  • And exemption for manufactured or mobile home

Keep in mind that each of these exemptions have requirements for qualification in addition to the new proof of residence requirement.

One more note, all applications dated and submitted to the county appraisal district by Aug. 31, 2011 will be processed under the pre-Sept 1 guidelines.

Leticia:
Where can people go for the forms and for more information on homestead exemption applications?

R.J DeSilva:
All forms and information are online. You can go to the Comptroller’s website, window.state.tx.us and click on Local Property Tax link.

The form is called Application for Residence Homestead Exemption (PDF, 264.5K).

Leticia:
Thank you

That was R.J. DeSilva, spokesman for the Texas Comptroller’s office.

For those interested in complete details on Homestead Exemptions, please visit the Texas Comptroller’s homepage — window.state.tx.us — and click on the Local Property Tax link located under the headline Most Popular. On behalf of the Texas Comptroller’s Office, I’m Leticia Torres.

CLOSE by Leticia Torres:
Media requesting an interview, please call the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Communications Division at area code (512) 463-4070. This podcast was brought to you by the Texas Comptroller’s office.

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