Property Tax Homestead Exemption Changes in Texas

As you may know, the Texas Legislature has now imposed strict standards for homeowners who apply for a new property tax homestead exemption. As of September 1, 2011, homeowners must provide proof to the county appraisal district that they live in the house they claim as their principal residence. The new requirement does not apply to homeowners who already have homestead exemptions. It affects only new applications for exemptions sent to appraisal districts.

House Bill 252 requires a copy of the homeowner’s Texas driver’s license or state identification card and the homeowner’s vehicle registration receipt be sent with the homestead exemption application. If the homeowner does not 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. The address on the documents must match the address for which the homestead exemption is requested.

The new law affects new applications for the general homestead exemption available to every homeowner as well as the over-65 exemption, the disability exemption, the disabled veterans exemption, the extended exemption for a homeowner’s surviving spouse and the manufactured (mobile) home exemption.

In addition to proof of residency, homeowners applying for a homestead exemption on a manufactured (mobile) home must also provide proof of purchase of the home and a statement of ownership and location issued by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

You can find the Application for Residential Homestead Exemption at your appraisal district. For example, if you live in Dallas County you can find homestead exemption application form at Dallas County appraisal district website and Collin County residents can find at Collin County Appraisal District website.

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