Beginning next month, individuals seeking to apply for a homestead exemption in Texas will need to comply with a new application process.
The recent session of the Texas Legislature imposed rigorous new standards of mandatory disclosure for those property owners who apply for any one of several kinds of homestead exemptions starting September1.
In order to receive a homestead exemption for property tax purposes, applicants must now 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.
Moreover, the addresses shown on each of the documents must be the same as the address for which the homestead exemption is sought, according to San Saba County Chief Appraiser Randy Henderson,
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 recieved 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 Legislature has closed loopholes in a disclosure that allowed some citizens to obtain homestead exemptions on more than one property," Henderson said. "The Legislature has also authorizied central appraisal districts to gain access to the database of the Texas Department of Public Safety so that differences in addresses reported for driver's license and property tax reasons can be audited electronically."
The new requirement that takes effect on September 1 is required for any one of the several ways property owners can qualify for a residential property homestead. These include the following:
•General residential exemption
•Over- 65 exemption
•100% disabled veterans exemption
•Extention of exemption for a surviving spouse
•Exemption for manufactured (mobil) home
Each of the programs cited above 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 reistration and utility billing receipt.
For those seeking homestead exemption status on a manufactured home, the applicant must also provide documentation as noted below:
Statement of ownership and location issued by the Texas Department of Housing and community Affairs
A copy of the purchase contract or payment receipt that the applicant is the purchaser of the manufactured home, or a sworn affidavit that:
a. The applicant is the owner of the manufactured home
b. The seller of the manufactured home did not provide the applicant with a purchase contract, and
c. The applicant could not locate the seller after making a good faith effort