Under a law passed by the Texas Legislature homeowners who apply for a new property tax homestead exemption beginning Sept. 1 must provide proof to the county appraisal district that they live in the house they claim as their principal residence.
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 requirement does not apply to homeowners who already have homestead exemptions. It affects only new applications for exemptions sent to appraisal districts.
“As Comptroller, we implement laws passed by the legislature” said Texas Comptroller Susan Combs. “The homestead exemption is intended to help relieve the tax burden of Texas full-time residents. This new legislation ensures that the system is working fairly and legally.”
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, beginning Sept. 1, 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.
The homestead exemption application form for property owners and county appraisal districts is available online at: http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxforms/50-114.pdf. A podcast is also available at: http://www.window.state.tx.us/newsinfo/audio/2011/HomesteadExemptionApplications.mp3.