Beginning next month, individuals seeking to apply for a homestead exemption in Texas must comply with a new application process.
The recent session of the Texas Legislature imposed new standards of mandatory disclosure for property owners who apply for any one of several kinds of homestead exemptions, starting Sept. 1.
To receive a homestead exemption for property tax purposes, applicants must provide a copy of their Texas driver’s license or Texas state-issued identification card and a copy of their vehicle registration receipt with their application for a homestead exemption.
The addresses shown on each of the documents must be the same as the address for which the homestead exemption is sought.
Those who do not own a vehicle will be required to submit a notarized affidavit certifying that fact and provide a copy of a current bill received from a utility company. The address on the utility bill must be the same as the address on the application for a homestead exemption.
The new requirements apply to any one of the several ways property owners can qualify for a residential property homestead. These include:
• General residential exemption;
• Over-65 exemption;
• Disability exemption;
• 100 percent disabled veterans exemption;
• Extension of exemption for a surviving spouse; and
• Exemption for manufactured (mobile) home.
Each of the programs have additional requirements for qualification. However, the common standard is that all such applicants must provide the additional documentation as noted before regarding driver’s license, Texas issued identification card, motor vehicle registration and utility billing receipt.
For those seeking homestead exemption status on a manufactured home, the applicant also must provide this documentation:
• Statement of ownership and location issued by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs; and
• A copy of the purchase contract or payment receipt that the applicant is the purchaser of the manufactured home, or, a sworn affidavit that the applicant is the owner of the manufactured home, the seller of the manufactured home did not provide the applicant with a purchase contract, and the applicant could not locate the seller after making a good-faith effort.
The modified homestead exemption form and the affidavits will be posted Thursday on the Galveston Central Appraisal District website, www.galvestoncad.org. Look under the “forms” link on the left column of the homepage.
Applications dated and submitted to the appraisal district by Wednesday will be processed under the current guidelines.
*This piece was prepared and written by officials at the Galveston Central Appraisal District. Ken Wright is the district's chief appraiser.
BILL CHERRY, REALTORS
DALLAS - PARK CITIES