Skip to content
Quick Start for:
Title 1. Property Tax Code
Subtitle C. Taxable Property and Exemptions

Chapter 11. Taxable Property and Exemptions

Subchapter C. Administration of Exemptions

Sec. 11.41. Partial Ownership of Exempt Property.
Sec. 11.42. Exemption Qualification Date.
Sec. 11.421. Qualification of Religious Organization.
Sec. 11.422. Qualification of a School.
Sec. 11.423. Qualification of Charitable Organization or Youth Association.
Sec. 11.424. Conflict Between Governing Regulation or Nonprofit Organization, Association, or Entity and Contract with United States.
Sec. 11.43. Application for Exemption.
Sec. 11.431. Late Application for Homestead Exemption.
Sec. 11.432. Homestead Exemption for Manufactured Home.
Sec. 11.433. Late Application for Religious Organization Exemption.
Sec. 11.434. Late Application for a School Exemption.
Sec. 11.435. Late Application for a Charitable Organization Exemption.
Sec. 11.436. Application for Exemption of Certain Property Used for Low-Income Housing.
Sec. 11.437. Exemption for Cotton Stored in Warehouse.
Sec. 11.438. Late Application for Veteran's Organization Exemption.
Sec. 11.439. Late Application for Disabled Veterans Exemption.
Sec. 11.4391. Late Application for Freeport Exemption.
Sec. 11.44. Notice of Application Requirements.
Sec. 11.45. Action on Exemption Applications.
Sec. 11.46. Compilation of Partial Exemptions.
Sec. 11.47. Mail Survey of Residence Homesteads.
Sec. 11.48. Confidential Information.

Sec. 11.41. Partial Ownership of Exempt Property

(a) If a person who qualifies for an exemption as provided by this chapter is not the sole owner of the property to which the exemption applies, the exemption shall be multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the value of the property interest the person owns and the denominator of which is the value of the property.

(b) In the application of this section, community ownership by a person who qualifies for the exemption and the person's spouse is treated as if the person owns the community interest of the person's spouse.

Amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 1062, ch. 194, Sec. 2, and p. 3905, ch. 1039, Sec. 15.

Cross References:
Disabled veterans exemption, see Sec. 11.22.
Listing separate estates or interests, see Sec. 25.04.
Life estates, see Sec. 25.05.
Property encumbered by lease or other interest, see Sec. 25.06.
Exempt property subject to lease, see Sec. 25.07.

Sec. 11.42. Exemption Qualification Date

(a) Except as provided by Subsections (b) and (c) and by Sections 11.421, 11.422, 11.434, 11.435, and 11.436, eligibility for and amount of an exemption authorized by this chapter for any tax year are determined by a claimant's qualifications on January 1. A person who does not qualify for an exemption on January 1 of any year may not receive the exemption that year.

(b) An exemption authorized by Section 11.11 is effective immediately on qualification for the exemption.

(c) An exemption authorized by Section 11.13(c) or (d) is effective as of January 1 of the tax year in which the person qualifies for the exemption and applies to the entire tax year.

(d) A person who acquires property after January 1 of a tax year may receive an exemption authorized by Section 11.17, 11.18, 11.19, 11.20, 11.21, 11.23, or 11.30 for the applicable portion of that tax year immediately on qualification for the exemption.

Added by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2245, ch. 841, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 640, 2, eff. Aug. 31, 1987; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 836, 6.1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 345, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1039, 16, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1059, 1, eff. June 19, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1155, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1481, 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 411, 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Cross References:
Exemption application required, see Sec. 11.43(a).
Exemption application forms, see Rule Sec. 9.415.
Filing deadline for property acquired after January 1, see Sec. 11.43(d).
Prorating taxes for exemption for part of tax year, see Secs. 26.112 and 26.113.

Notes:
Tax Code Section 11.42(a) requires a person and the real property to qualify for a tax exemption as of January 1 to receive an exemption for that tax year. A mid-year transfer of real property from a nonexempt owner to an exempt owner does not alter the taxable character of the property during the tax year. A church is not entitled to a property tax exemption on property purchased in the middle of the tax year. Tex. Att'y Gen. LO-96-062 (1996). (The 75th Texas Legislature amended Section 11.42(a) to provide for immediate qualification for a religious organization exemption, effective January 1, 1998.)

Texas courts have consistently required property to be assessed at its value on January 1. See Lo-Vaca Gathering Co. v. Matagorda County, 664 S.W.2d 802 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 1984, no writ); State v. Republic Natural Gas Co., 181 S.W.2d 592 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1943, writ ref'd w.o.m.). As a result, an exemption takes effect on January 1 following the year in which the person or the property qualified for the exemption. The attorney general has approved a January 1 cut-off date for the over-65 homestead exemption. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. H-9 (1983); Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. H-548 (1975).

Sec. 11.421. Qualification of Religious Organization

(a) If the chief appraiser denies a timely filed application for an exemption under Section 11.20 for an organization that otherwise qualified for the exemption on January 1 of the year but that did not satisfy the requirements of Subsection (c)(4) of that section on that date, the organization is eligible for the exemption for the tax year if the organization:

(1) satisfies the requirements of Section 11.20(c)(4) before the later of:

(A) June 1 of the year to which the exemption applies; or

(B) the 60th day after the date the chief appraiser notifies the organization of its failure to comply with those requirements; and

(2) within the time provided by Subdivision (1) files with the chief appraiser a new completed application for the exemption together with an affidavit stating that the organization has complied with the requirements of Section 11.20(c)(4).

(b) If the chief appraiser cancels an exemption for a religious organization under Section 11.20 that was erroneously allowed in a tax year because he determines that the organization did not satisfy the requirements of Section 11.20(c)(4) on January 1 of that year, the organization is eligible for the exemption for that tax year if the organization:

(1) was otherwise qualified for the exemption;

(2) satisfies the requirements of Section 11.20(c)(4) on or before the 60th day after the date the chief appraiser notifies the organization of the cancellation; and

(3) within the time provided by Subdivision (2) files with the chief appraiser a new completed application for the exemption together with an affidavit stating that the organization has complied with the requirements of Section 11.20(c)(4).

Added by 1987 Tex. Laws, ch. 640, Sec. 3; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 3905, ch. 1039, Sec. 17, and p. 5287, ch. 1411, Sec. 5.

Cross References:
Religious organization exemption, see Sec. 11.20.
Exemption application requirements, see Sec. 11.43(c).

Sec. 11.422. Qualifications of a School

(a) If the chief appraiser denies a timely filed application for an exemption under Section 11.21 for a school that otherwise qualified for the exemption on January 1 of the year but that did not satisfy the requirements of Subsection (d)(5) of that section on that date, the school is eligible for the exemption for the tax year if the school:

(1) satisfies the requirements of Section 11.21(d)(5) before the later of:

(A) July 1 of the year for which the exemption applies; or

(B) the 60th day after the date the chief appraiser notifies the school of its failure to comply with those requirements; and

(2) within the time provided by Subdivision (1), files with the chief appraiser a new completed application for the exemption together with an affidavit stating that the school has complied with the requirements of Section 11.21(d)(5).

(b) If the chief appraiser cancels an exemption for a school under Section 11.21 that was erroneously allowed in a tax year because the appraiser determines that the school did not satisfy the requirements of Section 11.21(d)(5) on January 1 of that year, the school is eligible for the exemption for that tax year if the school:

(1) was otherwise qualified for the exemption;

(2) satisfies the requirements of Section 11.21(d)(5) on or before the 30th day after the date the chief appraiser notifies the school of the cancellation; and

(3) in the time provided in Subdivision (2) files with the chief appraiser a new completed application stating that the school has complied with the requirements of Section 11.21(d)(5).

Added by 1991 Tex. Laws, p. 2894, ch. 836, Sec. 6.2; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 3905, ch. 1039, Sec. 17, and p. 5288, ch. 1411, Sec. 5.

Cross References:
School exemption, see Sec. 11.21.
Exemption application requirements, see Sec. 11.43(c).

Sec. 11.423. Qualification of Charitable Organization or Youth Association

(a) If the chief appraiser denies a timely filed application for an exemption under Section 11.18 or 11.19 for an organization or association that otherwise qualified for the exemption on January 1 of the year but that did not satisfy the requirements of Section 11.18(f)(2) or 11.19(d)(5), as appropriate, on that date, the organization or association is eligible for the exemption for the tax year if the organization or association:

(1) satisfies the requirements of Section 11.18(f)(2) or 11.19(d)(5), as appropriate, before the later of:

(A) June 1 of the year to which the exemption applies; or

(B) the 60th day after the date the chief appraiser notifies the organization or association of its failure to comply with those requirements; and

(2) within the time provided by Subdivision (1) files with the chief appraiser a new completed application for the exemption together with an affidavit stating that the organization or association has complied with the requirements of Section 11.18(f)(2) or 11.19(d)(5), as appropriate.

(b) If the chief appraiser cancels an exemption for an organization or association under Section 11.18 or 11.19 that was erroneously allowed in a tax year because the chief appraiser determines that the organization or association did not satisfy the requirements of Section 11.18(f)(2) or 11.19(d)(5), as appropriate, on January 1 of that year, the organization or association is eligible for the exemption for that tax year if the organization or association:

(1) was otherwise qualified for the exemption;

(2) satisfies the requirements of Section 11.18(f)(2) or 11.19(d)(5), as appropriate, on or before the 60th day after the date the chief appraiser notifies the organization or association of the cancellation; and

(3) within the time provided by Subdivision (2) files with the chief appraiser a new completed application for the exemption together with an affidavit stating that the organization or association has complied with the requirements of Section 11.18(f)(2) or 11.19(d)(5), as appropriate.

Added by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 3906, ch. 1039, Sec. 18, and p. 5288, ch. 1411, Sec. 6.

Cross References:
Charitable organization exemption, see Sec. 11.18.
Youth development association exemption, see Sec. 11.19.
Exemption application requirements, see Sec. 11.43(c).

Sec. 11.424. Conflict Between Governing Regulation of Nonprofit Organization, Association, or Entity and Contract With United States

To the extent of a conflict between a provision in a contract entered into by an organization, association, or entity with the United States and a provision in the charter, a bylaw, or other regulation adopted by the organization or entity to govern its affairs in compliance with Section 11.18(f)(2), 11.19(d)(5), 11.20(c)(4), or 11.21(d)(5), the existence of the contract or the organization's compliance with the contract does not affect the eligibility of the organization, association, or entity to receive an exemption under the applicable section of this code, and the organization, association, or entity may comply with the provision in the contract instead of the conflicting provision in the charter, bylaw, or other regulation.

Added by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 3906, ch. 1039, Sec. 18, and p. 5289, ch. 1411, Sec. 6.

Cross References:
Charitable organization exemption, see Sec. 11.18.
Youth development association exemption, see Sec. 11.19.
Religious organization exemption, see Sec. 11.20.
School exemption, see Sec. 11.21.
Exemption application requirements, see Sec. 11.43(c).

Sec. 11.43. Application for Exemption

(a) To receive an exemption, a person claiming the exemption, other than an exemption authorized by Section 11.11, 11.12, 11.14, 11.145, 11.146, 11.15, 11.16, 11.161, or 11.25 of this code, must apply for the exemption. To apply for an exemption, a person must file an exemption application form with the chief appraiser for each appraisal district in which the property subject to the claimed exemption has situs.

(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c) and by Sections 11.184 and 11.437, a person required to apply for an exemption must apply each year the person claims entitlement to the exemption.

(c) An exemption provided by Section 11.13, 11.17, 11.18, 11.182, 11.183, 11.19, 11.20, 11.21, 11.22, 11.23(h) , (j), or (j-1), 11.29, 11.30, or 11.31, once allowed, need not be claimed in subsequent years, and except as otherwise provided by Subsection (e), the exemption applies to the property until it changes ownership or the person's qualification for the exemption changes. However, the chief appraiser may require a person allowed one of the exemptions in a prior year to file a new application to confirm the person's current qualification for the exemption by delivering a written notice that a new application is required, accompanied by an appropriate application form, to the person previously allowed the exemption.

(d) To receive an exemption the eligibility for which is determined by the claimant's qualifications on January 1 of the tax year, a person required to claim an exemption must file a completed exemption application form before May 1 and must furnish the information required by the form. A person who after January 1 of a tax year acquires property that qualifies for an exemption covered by Section 11.42(d) must apply for the exemption for the applicable portion of that tax year before the first anniversary of the date the person acquires the property. For good cause shown the chief appraiser may extend the deadline for filing an exemption application by written order for a single period not to exceed 60 days.

(e) Except as provided by Section 11.422, 11.431, 11.433, 11.434, 11.435, 11.439, or 11.4391, if a person required to apply for an exemption in a given year fails to file timely a completed application form, the person may not receive the exemption for that year.

(f) The comptroller, in prescribing the contents of the application form for each kind of exemption, shall ensure that the form requires an applicant to furnish the information necessary to determine the validity of the exemption claim. The form must require an applicant to provide the applicant's name and driver's license number, personal identification certificate number, or social security account number. The comptroller shall include on the forms a notice of the penalties prescribed by Section 37.10, Penal Code, for making or filing an application containing a false statement. The comptroller shall include, on application forms for exemptions that do not have to be claimed annually, a statement explaining that the application need not be made annually and that if the exemption is allowed, the applicant has a duty to notify the chief appraiser when the applicant's entitlement to the exemption ends. In this subsection:

(1) "Driver's license" has the meaning assigned that term by Section 521.001, Transportation Code.

(2) "Personal identification certificate" means a certificate issued by the Department of Public Safety under Subchapter E, Chapter 521, Transportation Code.

(g) A person who receives an exemption that is not required to be claimed annually shall notify the appraisal office in writing before May 1 after his entitlement to the exemption ends.

(h) If the chief appraiser learns of any reason indicating that an exemption previously allowed should be canceled, he shall investigate. If he determines that the property should not be exempt, he shall cancel the exemption and deliver written notice of the cancellation within five days after the date he makes the cancellation.

(i) If the chief appraiser discovers that an exemption that is not required to be claimed annually has been erroneously allowed in any one of the five preceding years, the chief appraiser shall add the property or appraised value that was erroneously exempted for each year to the appraisal roll as provided by Section 25.21 of this code for other property that escapes taxation. If an exemption that was erroneously allowed did not apply to all taxing units in which the property was located, the chief appraiser shall note on the appraisal records, for each prior year, the taxing units that gave the exemption and are entitled to impose taxes on the property or value that escaped taxation.

(j) An application for an exemption under Section 11.13 must:

(1) list each owner of the residence homestead and the interest of each owner;

(2) state that the applicant does not claim an exemption under that section on another residence homestead;

(3) state that each fact contained in the application is true; and

(4) include a sworn statement that the applicant has read and understands the notice of the penalties required by Subsection (f).

(k) A person who qualifies for an exemption authorized by Section 11.13(c) or (d) must apply for the exemption no later than the first anniversary of the date the person qualified for the exemption.

(l) The form for an application under Section 11.13 must include a space for the applicant to state the applicant's date of birth. Failure to provide the date of birth does not affect the applicant's eligibility for an exemption under that section, other than an exemption under Section 11.13(c) or (d) for an individual 65 years of age or older.

(m) Notwithstanding Subsections (a) and (k), a person who receives an exemption under Section 11.13, other than an exemption under Section 11.13(c) or (d) for an individual 65 years of age or older, in a tax year is entitled to receive an exemption under Section 11.13(c) or (d) for an individual 65 years of age or older in the next tax year on the same property without applying for the exemption if the person becomes 65 years of age in that next year as shown by information in the records of the appraisal district that was provided to the appraisal district by the individual in an application for an exemption under Section 11.13 on the property or in correspondence relating to the property. This subsection does not apply if the chief appraiser determines that the individual is no longer entitled to any exemption under Section 11.13 on the property.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2245, ch. 841, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., 1st C.S., p. 131, ch. 13, 40, 41, eff. Jan. 1, 1982; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3442, ch. 574, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 4823, ch. 851, 8, eff. Aug. 29, 1983; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 428, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 791, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 76, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1990, 71st Leg., 6th C.S., ch. 8, 2, eff. Sept. 6, 1990; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 306, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 836, 6.5, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 2nd C.S., ch. 6, 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 198, 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 285, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 779, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 296, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 381, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 194, 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 726, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1039, 19, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1059, 4, eff. June 19, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1155, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, 16.02, 16.03, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 675, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1481, 4, 5, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 125, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 213, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 842, 1, eff. June 14, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1040, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, 18.004, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 407, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2004; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 411, 4, eff. Jan. 1, 2004; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1275, 3(39), eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, 15.001(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 3, 20.02, eff. Jan. 11, 2004; Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 1126, 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Cross References:
Exemption application forms, see Rule Sec. 9.415.
Calculation of tax on omitted property, see Sec. 26.09.
Omitted property, see Sec. 25.21.
Late application provisions, see Secs. 11.431, 11.433, 11.434, 11.435, 11.436, 11.438, 11.439, and 11.4391.
Prorating taxes for exemption granted after January 1, see Secs. 26.10, 26.111, 26.112, and 26.113.
Timeliness of action by mail, see Sec. 1.08.

Notes:
Amendments to the statute under Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 1126, 3 also provides that newly added section 11.43(m) applies only to the eligibility for an exemption from ad valorem taxation under Section 11.13(c) or (d), Tax Code, for an individual 65 years of age or older for a tax year beginning on or after January 1, 2006.

The Tax Injunction Act bars injunctive or declaratory relief for state tax matters in federal court unless the state fails to have a speedy and efficient remedy for a taxpayer's claim. Texas courts have such a remedy, and taxpayers could not seek injunctive remedy for taxes assessed on their homesteads for improperly granted exemptions to previous owners of the homes. Hamilton v. Dallas Central Appraisal District, No. 3:98-CV-2553-L (N. D. Tex. 1999).

The chief appraiser's duty to back access property omitted from the appraisal roll whenever an error is discovered is mandatory and not discretionary. A taxing unit may sue the chief appraiser who fails to perform this duty. Back assessment for an erroneously granted exemption is a current year tax, and it is not subject to a taxing unit filing a challenge in the tax year in question. Atascosa County v. Atascosa County Appraisal District, 990 S.W.2d 255 (Tex. 1999).

The burden is on the taxpayer to clearly prove he has a right to exemption. Davies v. Meyer, 528 S.W.2d 864 (Tex. Civ. App.-Austin 1976), aff'd 541 S.W.2d 827 (Tex. 1976).

The chief appraiser has the responsibility to correct appraisal rolls for erroneously granted homestead exemptions. A tax lien is created based on back appraisal, even though the party who benefited from the erroneously granted exemption had sold the property. The liens would be extinguished, however, if tax certificates were issued at the time of the property transfer. Dallas Central Appraisal District v. Wang, 82 S.W.3d 697 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2002, pet. filed).

Taxpayer purchased a residence in 1992 but did not record the deed or apply for a homestead exemption. Appraisal district continued to appraise property as a homestead under the prior owner's homestead application. Appraisal district discovered the transfer and terminated the prior owner's exemption in 1997. Taxpayer submitted a homestead application in 1998. Appraisal district denied the homestead exemption in 1993 through 1996. Appraisal district properly denied the homestead exemption for 1993 through 1996. Purchasers of residences must reapply for a homestead exemption. The homestead exemption for a prior owner terminates upon conveyance of the property. Appraisal district may remove erroneous exemptions if discovered within five years. A taxpayer may file a homestead exemption application up to one year late. An appraisal district can only be held to the requirements of Section 25.19(g) if put on notice of a transfer of property. Dallas Central Appraisal District and Dallas County Appraisal Review Board v. Brown, 19 S.W.3d 878 (Tex. App.-Dallas [5th Dist.] 2000, no pet.).

The cancellation of an exemption without giving notice to the taxpayer is void, and the failure to give such notice may be raised as a defense to the collection of delinquent taxes. The mere filing of a certified copy of the delinquent tax roll does not create a presumption that notice was in fact delivered where there is evidence to the contrary. Inwood Dad's Club, Inc. v. Aldine Independent School District, 882 S.W.2d 532 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st District] 1994, rehearing denied).

A taxpayer whose exemption applications were rejected based upon defective fiduciary forms must challenge this decision of the chief appraiser to the appraisal review board. If there is a factual dispute, a court issued writ of mandamus cannot be requested. Dallas County Appraisal District v. Funds Recovery, Inc., 887 S.W.2d 465 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1994, writ denied).

When a chief appraiser fails to notify a taxpayer of cancellation of an exemption as required by Sec. 11.43(h), Tax Code, the taxpayer may sue the taxing entity that contracted for the exemption (a tax abatement agreement, in this case). The taxpayer need not resort to the exclusive administrative procedures provided under Sec. 42.09. Fina Oil and Chemical Co. v. Port Neches I.S.D., 861 S.W.2d 3 (Tex. App.-Beaumont 1993, writ denied).

Under Sec. 11.43(h), a chief appraiser has a duty to notify a taxpayer of the reason the appraiser canceled the taxpayer's exemption so that the taxpayer may make a proper protest, if necessary, to the ARB. Id.

Taxpayer who failed to file application for private school exemptions was barred from receiving the exemption for the year. Keggereis v. Dallas Central Appraisal District, 749 S.W.2d 516 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1988, no writ).

The chief appraiser's action in holding an application for charitable exemption in abeyance pending the outcome of a court suit did not constitute a denial of the application. Applicant was not required to pursue its remedies before raising its defense of exemption from taxes. Moody House, Inc. v. Galveston County, 687 S.W.2d 433 (Tex. App.-Houston 1985, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

The law must clearly set out the exemption; a court will not imply one. Raymondville Memorial Hospital v. State, 253 S.W.2d 1012 (Tex. Civ. App.-San Antonio 1953, writ ref'd n.r.e.). Generally speaking, exemption laws are strictly construed, resolving doubts against the taxpayer. Davies v. Meyer, 542 S.W.2d 827 (Tex. 1976); River Oaks Garden Club v. City of Houston, 370 S.W.2d 851 (Tex. 1963). The standard for proof in an exemption case is by preponderance of the evidence. Lamb County Appraisal District v. South Plains Hospital-Clinic, Inc., 686 S.W.2d 896 (Tex. App.-Amarillo 1985, no writ). The taxpayer must show that he comes within both the constitutional and the statutory provisions for tax exemption. State v. American Legion Post No. 58, 611 S.W.2d 720 (Tex. App.-El Paso 1981, no writ).

Sec. 11.431. Late Application of Homestead Exemption

(a) The chief appraiser shall accept and approve or deny an application for a residence homestead exemption after the deadline for filing it has passed if it is filed not later than one year after the delinquency date for the taxes on the homestead.

(b) If a late application is approved after approval of the appraisal records by the appraisal review board, the chief appraiser shall notify the collector for each unit in which the residence is located. The collector shall deduct from the person's tax bill the amount of tax imposed on the exempted amount if the tax has not been paid. If the tax has been paid, the collector shall refund the amount of tax imposed on the exempted amount.

Added by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., 1st C.S., p. 132, ch. 13, 42, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 650, 1, eff. June 20, 2003.

Cross References:
Delinquency date, see Secs. 31.02 - 31.04.
Action on exemption applications, see Sec. 11.45(d).

Notes:
Taxpayer purchased a residence in 1992 but did not record the deed or apply for a homestead exemption. Appraisal district continued to appraise property as a homestead under the prior owner's homestead application. Appraisal district discovered the transfer and terminated the prior owner's exemption in 1997. Taxpayer submitted a homestead application in 1998. Appraisal district denied the homestead exemption in 1993 through 1996. Appraisal district properly denied the homestead exemption for 1993 through 1996. Purchasers of residences must reapply for a homestead exemption. The homestead exemption for a prior owner terminates upon conveyance of the property. Appraisal district may remove erroneous exemptions if discovered within five years. A taxpayer may file a homestead exemption application up to one year late. An appraisal district can only be held to the requirements of Section 25.19(g) if put on notice of a transfer of property. Dallas Central Appraisal District and Dallas County Appraisal Review Board v. Brown, 19 S.W.3d 878 (Tex. App.-Dallas [5th Dist.] 2000, no pet.).

Section 11.431 permits the granting of refunds and the filing of late applications for residence homestead exemptions beginning with the 1982 tax year. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-221 (1984).

Section 11.431 was adopted in response to attorney generals' rulings which said that the April 1 cut-off date for applications could not operate to deny a constitutionally granted over-65 homestead exemption, but that a taxpayer could wait so long to apply as to be stopped from claiming the exemption if his delay makes it administratively impractical to grant it. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. MW-146 (1980).

Sec. 11.432. Homestead Exemption for Manufactured Home.

(a) For a manufactured home to qualify for an exemption under Section 11.13 of this code, the application for the exemption must be accompanied by a copy of the statement of ownership and location for the manufactured home issued by the manufactured housing division of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs under Section 1201.207, Occupations Code, showing that the individual applying for the exemption is the owner of the manufactured home or be accompanied by a verified copy of the purchase contract showing that the applicant is the purchaser of the manufactured home.

(b) The land on which a manufactured home is located qualifies for an exemption under Section 11.13 only if:

(1) the manufactured home qualifies for an exemption as provided by Subsection (a); and

(2) the manufactured home is listed together with the land on which it is located under Section 25.08.

(c) In this section, "manufactured home" has the meaning assigned by Section 1201.003, Occupations Code.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 846, 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1039, 4.02, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 274, 12, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 338, 44, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Cross References:
Residence homestead exemption, see Sec. 11.13.
Manufactured Housing Standards Act, see art. 5221f, V.A.C.S.
Model application form, see Rule Sec. 9.415.

Sec. 11.433. Late Application for Religious Organization Exemption

(a) The chief appraiser shall accept and approve or deny an application for a religious organization exemption under Section 11.20 after the filing deadline provided by Section 11.43 if the application is filed not later than December 31 of the fifth year after the year in which the taxes for which the exemption is claimed were imposed.

(b) The chief appraiser may not approve a late application for an exemption filed under this section if the taxes imposed on the property for the year for which the exemption is claimed are paid before the application is filed.

(c) If a late application is approved after approval of the appraisal records for the year for which the exemption is granted, the chief appraiser shall notify the collector for each taxing unit in which the property was taxable in the year for which the exemption is granted. The collector shall deduct from the organization's tax bill the amount of tax imposed on the property for that year if the tax has not been paid and any unpaid penalties and accrued interest relating to that tax. The collector may not refund taxes, penalties, or interest paid on the property for which an exemption is granted under this section.

(d) The chief appraiser may grant an exemption for property pursuant to an application filed under this section only if the property otherwise qualified for the exemption under the law in effect on January 1 of the tax year for which the exemption is claimed.

(e) Repealed in 1999.

Added by 1989 Tex. Laws (6th C.S.), p. 46, ch. 8, Sec. 1; amended by 1993 Tex. Laws, p. 4328, ch. 971, Sec. 1; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 1025, ch. 170, Sec. 1; amended by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 2835, ch. 449, Secs. 1 and 5; amended by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 3450, ch. 817, Sec. 4.

Notes:
Property Tax Code Section 11.433 is a constitutional act of the Texas Legislature. Therefore, a retroactive exemption of a religious organization's property is valid so long as taxes have not been paid on the property. Corpus Christi People's Baptist Church, Inc. v. Nueces County Appraisal District, 904 S.W.2d 621 (Tex. 1995).

The Supreme Court reversed the appellate decision in this case. Article III, Sec. 55, Tex. Const., prevents the Legislature from canceling obligations or liabilities because the effect would be to shrink public revenue. Because delinquent taxes are "liabilities" under Article III, Sec. 55, Sec. 11.433, Tax Code, is unconstitutional because it releases liabilities owed to the county. If the appraisal district were to approve an exemption for real property, the exemption would involve a release of the tax liability and the tax lien, prohibited by the express language in Article III, Sec. 55. Nueces County Appraisal District v. People's Baptist Church, 860 S.W.2d 627 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 1993), rev'd 904 S.W.2d 621 (Tex. 1995).

The exempt status of a church could not be raised in a suit for delinquent taxes. The church failed to include the appraisal district as a party to the lawsuit, so that no action could be taken on its counterclaim concerning denial of its late application and qualification for exemption as a religious organization. The Tax Code remedies are exclusive. St. Joseph Orthodox Christian Church v. Spring Branch Independent School District, 110 S.W.3d 477 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2003, no pet.).

Sec. 11.434. Late Application for a School Exemption

(a) The chief appraiser shall accept or deny an application for a school exemption under Section 11.21 after the filing deadline provided by Section 11.43 if the application is filed not later than December 31 of the fifth year after the year in which the taxes for which the exemption is claimed were imposed.

(b) The chief appraiser may not approve a late application for an exemption filed under this section if the taxes imposed on the property for the year for which the exemption is claimed are paid before the application is filed.

(c) If a late application is approved after approval of the appraisal records for the year for which the exemption is granted, the chief appraiser shall notify the collector for each taxing unit in which the property was taxable in the year for which the exemption is granted. The collector shall deduct from the school's tax bill the amount of tax imposed on the property for that year if the tax has not been paid and any unpaid penalties and accrued interest relating to that tax. The collector may not refund taxes, penalties, or interest paid on the property for which an exemption is granted under this section.

(d) Repealed by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 449, 5, eff. June 18, 1999.

Added by 1991 Tex. Laws, p. 2894, ch. 836, Sec. 6.3; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 5289, ch. 1411, Sec. 7; amended by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 2835, ch. 449, Secs. 2 and 5.

Sec. 11.435. Late Application for Charitable Organization Exemption

(a) The chief appraiser shall accept and approve or deny an application for a charitable organization exemption under Section 11.18 after the filing deadline provided by Section 11.43 if the application is filed not later than December 31 of the fifth year after the year in which the taxes for which the exemption is claimed were imposed.

(b) The chief appraiser may not approve a late application for an exemption filed under this section if the taxes imposed on the property for the year for which the exemption is claimed are paid before the application is filed.

(c) If a late application is approved after approval of the appraisal records for the year for which the exemption is granted, the chief appraiser shall notify the collector for each taxing unit in which the property was taxable in the year for which the exemption is granted. The collector shall deduct from the organization's tax bill the amount of tax imposed on the property for that year if the tax has not been paid and any unpaid penalties and accrued interest relating to that tax. The collector may not refund taxes, penalties, or interest paid on the property for which an exemption is granted under this section.

(d) The chief appraiser may grant an exemption for property pursuant to an application filed under this section only if the property otherwise qualified for the exemption under the law in effect on January 1 of the tax year for which the exemption is claimed.

(e) Repealed by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 449, 5, eff. June 18, 1999.

Added by 1991 Tex. Laws, p. 2895, ch. 836, Sec. 6.4; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 1025, ch. 170, Sec. 2; amended by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 2835, ch. 449, Secs. 3 and 5.

Sec. 11.436. Application for Exemption of Certain Property Used for Low-Income Housing

(a) An organization that acquires property that qualifies for an exemption under Section 11.181(a) or 11.1825 may apply for the exemption for the year of acquisition not later than the 30th day after the date the organization acquires the property, and the deadline provided by Section 11.43(d) does not apply to the application for that year.

(b) If the application is granted, the exemption for that year applies only to the portion of the year in which the property qualifies for the exemption, as provided by Section 26.111. If the application is granted after approval of the appraisal records by the appraisal review board, the chief appraiser shall notify the collector for each taxing unit in which the property is located. The collector shall calculate the amount of tax due on the property in that year as provided by Section 26.111 and shall refund any amount paid in excess of that amount.

(c) To facilitate the financing associated with the acquisition of a property, an organization, before acquiring the property, may request from the chief appraiser of the appraisal district established for the county in which the property is located a preliminary determination of whether the property would qualify for an exemption under Section 11.1825 if acquired by the organization. The request must include the information that would be included in an application for an exemption for the property under Section 11.1825. Not later than the 45th day after the date a request is submitted under this subsection, the chief appraiser shall issue a written preliminary determination for the property included in the request. A preliminary determination does not affect the granting of an exemption under Section 11.1825.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 345, 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1994. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 715, 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 842, 3, eff. June 14, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1156, 4, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Cross References:
Charitable organization exemption for low-income housing property, see Sec. 11.181.
Charitable organization exemption for community housing development property, see Sec. 11.182.
Model application form, see Rule Sec. 9.415.
Prorating taxes, see Sec. 26.111.

Sec. 11.437. Exemption for Cotton Stored in Warehouse

(a) A person who operates a warehouse used primarily for the storage of cotton for transportation outside of this state may apply for an exemption under Section 11.251 for cotton stored in the warehouse on behalf of all the owners of the cotton. An exemption granted under this section applies to all cotton stored in the warehouse that is eligible to be exempt under Section 11.251. Cotton that is stored in a warehouse covered by an exemption granted under this section and that is transported outside of this state is presumed to have been transported outside of this state within the time permitted by Article VIII, Section 1-j, of the Texas Constitution for cotton to qualify for an exemption under that section.

(b) An exemption granted under this section, once allowed, need not be claimed in subsequent years, and except as provided by Section 11.43(e), the exemption applies to cotton stored in the warehouse until the warehouse changes ownership or the cotton's qualification for the exemption changes. The chief appraiser may, however, require a person who operates a warehouse for which an exemption for cotton has been granted in a prior year to file a new application to confirm the cotton's current qualification for the exemption by delivering a written notice that a new application is required, accompanied by an appropriate application form, to the person.

Added by 1993 Tex. Laws, p. 3054, ch. 779, Sec. 3.

Cross References:
Annual application exception, see Sec. 11.43(b).
Constitutional authorization, see art. VIII, Sec. 1-j, Tex. Const.
Exemption application, see Rule Sec. 9.415.
Filing rendition, see Secs. 22.01 and 22.04.
Freeport exemption, see Sec. 11.251.

Sec. 11.438. Late Application for Veteran's Organization Exemption

(a) The chief appraiser shall accept and approve or deny an application for a veteran's organization exemption under Section 11.23(a) after the filing deadline provided by Section 11.43 if the application is filed not later than December 31 of the fifth year after the year in which the taxes for which the exemption is claimed were imposed.

(b) If the taxes and related penalties and interest imposed on the property for the year for which the exemption is claimed are paid before an application is filed under this section, the chief appraiser may approve the late application for an exemption only on a showing that the taxes, penalties, and interest were paid under protest.

(c) If a late application is approved after approval of the appraisal records for a year for which the exemption is granted, the chief appraiser shall notify the collector for each taxing unit in which the property was taxable in that year. The collector shall deduct from the organization's tax bill the amount of tax imposed on the property for that year and any penalties and interest relating to that tax if the tax and related penalties and interest have not been paid. If the tax and related penalties and interest on the property for a tax year for which an exemption is granted under this section were paid under protest, the organization may apply for a refund of the tax, penalties, and interest paid as provided by Section 31.11. Section 31.11(c) does not apply to a refund under this section.

(d) Repealed by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 449, 5, eff. June 18, 1999.

Added by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 5028, ch. 1328, Sec. 1; amended by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 2835, ch. 449, Secs. 4 and 5.

Sec. 11.439. Late Application for Disabled Veterans Exemption

(a) The chief appraiser shall accept and approve or deny an application for an exemption under Section 11.22 after the filing deadline provided by Section 11.43 if the application is filed not later than one year after the delinquency date for the taxes on the property.

(b) If a late application is approved after approval of the appraisal records for the year for which the exemption is granted, the chief appraiser shall notify the collector for each taxing unit in which the property was taxable in that year. The collector shall correct the taxing unit's tax roll to reflect the amount of tax imposed on the property after applying the exemption and shall deduct from the person's tax bill the amount of tax imposed on the exempted portion of the property for that year. If the tax and any related penalties and interest have been paid, the collector shall pay to the person a refund of the tax imposed on the exempted portion of the property and the corresponding portion of any related penalties and interest paid. The collector shall pay the refund not later than the 60th day after the date the chief appraiser notifies the collector of the approval of the exemption. No additional interest is due on the amount refunded.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 213, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 412, 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Sec. 11.4391. Late Application for Freeport Exemption

(a) The chief appraiser shall accept and approve or deny an application for an exemption for freeport goods under Section 11.251 after the deadline for filing it has passed if it is filed before the date the appraisal review board approves the appraisal records.

(b) If the application is approved, the property owner is liable to each taxing unit for a penalty in an amount equal to 10 percent of the difference between the amount of tax imposed by the taxing unit on the inventory or property, a portion of which consists of freeport goods, and the amount that would otherwise have been imposed.

(c) The chief appraiser shall make an entry on the appraisal records for the inventory or property indicating the property owner's liability for the penalty and shall deliver a written notice of imposition of the penalty, explaining the reason for its imposition, to the property owner.

(d) The tax assessor for a taxing unit that taxes the inventory or property shall add the amount of the penalty to the property owner's tax bill, and the tax collector for the unit shall collect the penalty at the time and in the manner the collector collects the tax. The amount of the penalty constitutes a lien against the inventory or property against which the penalty is imposed, as if it were a tax, and accrues penalty and interest in the same manner as a delinquent tax.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 125, 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2002. Renumbered from V.T.C.A., Tax Code 11.439 by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1275, 2(122), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Notes:
The taxpayer failed to exhaust its administrative remedies by not raising the issue of an application filing extension before the review board and evidence was not presented to establish entitlement to relief under Section 11.439 (now Section 11.4391) because no date of appraisal roll approval was offered. As a result, the Court did not address the retroactive application of the law. The application filed after the April 30 deadline in effect in 1999 barred the granting of the freeport exemption for that year. The taxpayer failed to file timely a freeport exemption application and did not request a filing extension for good cause as required in 1999. At trial, the taxpayer claimed that the appraisal district failed to treat the transmittal letter with the application as a request for extension. The taxpayer further contended that the amendment to the application requirements by Section 11.439 (effective in 2000 and renumbered in 2003 to Section 11.4391), permitting acceptance of late applications if filed before approval of appraisal records by the appraisal review board, should apply. Quorum International v. Tarrant Appraisal District, 114 S.W.3d 568 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2003, pet. denied).

Sec. 11.44. Notice of Application Requirements

(a) Before February 1 of each year, the chief appraiser shall deliver an appropriate exemption application form to each person who in the preceding year was allowed an exemption that must be applied for annually. He shall include a brief explanation of the requirements of Section 11.43 of this code.

(b) Each year the chief appraiser for each appraisal district shall publicize, in a manner reasonably designed to notify all residents of the district, the requirements of Section 11.43 of this code and the availability of application forms.

(c) The comptroller shall prescribe by rule the content of the explanation required by Subsection (a) of this section, and shall require that each exemption application form be printed and prepared:

(1) as a separate form from any other form; or

(2) on the front of the form if the form also provides for other information.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 132, ch. 13, Sec. 43; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws (2nd C.S.), p. 29, ch. 6, Sec. 13.

Cross References:
Notice of application requirements, see Rule Sec. 9.3034.

Sec. 11.45. Action on Exemption Applications

(a) The chief appraiser shall determine separately each applicant's right to an exemption. After considering the application and all relevant information, the chief appraiser shall, as the law and facts warrant:

(1) approve the application and allow the exemption;

(2) modify the exemption applied for and allow the exemption as modified;

(3) disapprove the application and request additional information from the applicant in support of the claim; or

(4) deny the application.

(b) If the chief appraiser requests additional information from an applicant, the applicant must furnish it within 30 days after the date of the request or the application is denied. However, for good cause shown the chief appraiser may extend the deadline for furnishing the information by written order for a single period not to exceed 15 days.

(c) The chief appraiser shall determine the validity of each application for exemption filed with him before he submits the appraisal records for review and determination of protests as provided by Chapter 41 of this code.

(d) If the chief appraiser modifies or denies an exemption, he shall deliver a written notice of the modification or denial to the applicant within five days after the date he makes the determination. He shall include with the notice a brief explanation of the procedures for protesting his action.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 133, ch. 13, Sec. 44.

Cross References:
Delivery of notice, see Sec. 1.07.
Denial notice by certified mail, see Sec. 1.07.
Late protest for failure to deliver required notice, see Sec. 41.411.
Notices must be delivered before submission of appraisal records, see Sec. 25.22.
Supplemental appraisal records, see Sec. 25.23(d).

Notes:
The freeport provision is not self executing, and the legislature is authorized to prescribe forfeiture provisions. The filing requirements of Section 11.251, while different from other exemption provisions, are not unreasonable or arbitrary. The request for additional information provided in Section 11.45 does apply to the freeport exemption. The 30-day deadline in Section 11.251 is not unconstitutional. Motorola, Inc. v. Tarrant County Appraisal District, 980 S.W.2d 899 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1998).

The chief appraiser's action in holding an application for charitable exemption in abeyance pending the outcome of a court suit did not constitute a denial of the application. Applicant was not required to pursue its remedies before raising its defense of exemption from taxes. Moody House, Inc. v. Galveston County, 687 S.W.2d 433 (Tex. App.-Houston 1985, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

Sec. 11.46. Compilation of Partial Exemptions

Each year the chief appraiser shall compile and make available to the public a list showing for each taxing unit in the district the number of each kind of partial exemption allowed in that tax year and the total assessed value of each taxing unit that is exempted by each kind of partial exemption.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 133, ch. 13, Sec. 45.

Cross References:
Form of partial exemption list, see Rule Sec. 9.3010.

Sec. 11.47. Mail Survey of Residence Homesteads

(a) Between December 1 and December 31 of any year, the appraisal office may mail a card to each person who was allowed, in that year, one or more residence homestead exemptions that are not required to be claimed annually. The appraisal office shall include on the card the description of the property and the kind and amount of residence homestead exemptions allowed for the property according to the appraisal office records.

(b) The appraisal office shall include on each card mailed as authorized by this section a direction to the postal authorities not to forward it to any other address and to return it to the appraisal office if the addressee is no longer at the address to which the card was mailed.

(c) The appraisal office shall investigate each residence homestead exemption allowed a person whose card is returned undelivered.

Added by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 133, ch. 13, Sec. 46.

Sec. 11.48. Confidential Information

(a) A driver's license number, personal identification certificate number, or social security account number provided in an application for an exemption filed with a chief appraiser is confidential and not open to public inspection. The information may not be disclosed to anyone other than an employee of the appraisal office who appraises property, except as authorized by Subsection (b).

(b) Information made confidential by this section may be disclosed:

(1) in a judicial or administrative proceeding pursuant to a lawful subpoena;

(2) to the person who filed the application or to the person's representative authorized in writing to receive the information;

(3) to the comptroller and the comptroller's employees authorized by the comptroller in writing to receive the information or to an assessor or a chief appraiser if requested in writing;

(4) in a judicial or administrative proceeding relating to property taxation to which the person who filed the application is a party; or

(5) if and to the extent the information is required to be included in a public document or record that the appraisal office is required by law to prepare or maintain.

(c) A person who legally has access to an application for an exemption or who legally obtains the information from the application made confidential by this section commits an offense if the person knowingly:

(1) permits inspection of the confidential information by a person not authorized by Subsection (b) to inspect the information; or

(2) discloses the confidential information to a person not authorized by Subsection (b) to receive the information.

(d) An offense under Subsection (c) is a Class B misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 436, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Cross References:
Exemption application, see Rule Sec. 9.415.
Confidential information for renditions and reports, see Sec. 22.27.
Public Information Act, see ch. 552, Government Code.