Under the guise of ensuring their records are current, the Bexar Appraisal District has recently mailed notices to some property owners asking them “to reapply for the exemptions that are presently on your account.” The notice advises the property owner to complete the Application for Residence Homestead Exemption form that is enclosed in the mailing, and return it to the Appraisal District by November 1, 2010.
If you have been singled out for this “reapplication” process and fail to respond, you will lose your previously granted property tax exemption, which will result in increased 2011 property taxes.
Exemptions currently in force and required to be reapplied for include Homestead, Over-65, and/or Disabled Person’s Exemption. If you have the Disabled Person’s Exemption on your property, you will need to provide the Bexar Appraisal District with proof of eligibility, defined as, “a letter from Social Security Administration dated no earlier than July, 2010.” If you are disabled but not receiving social security disability benefits, proof of eligibility may be a statement from a physician that establishes that your disability meets the definition used by social security. The district also asks that if one or more of the owners shown on their records is no longer living, that you provide the district a copy of the deceased’s death certificate and probated will, or an heirship affidavit showing who inherited the deceased owner’s interest.
While complying with these requirements may not be a monumental task for some, it will nonetheless be a burden for others. Perhaps worst of all, many of the elderly and disabled may not recognize the need to respond, the urgency of the response, or the consequences of failing to respond. Please share with your friends and family the importance of tending to this business if they are among those who receive the notices. Failure to respond may result in tax bills next year that are much larger than usual. This writer has seen one case in which a failure to reapply would result in the 2011 taxes (as measured by the 2010 actual assessment) go from $236 this year to $1,659.
Whether this is a legitimate effort to update records or a thinly disguised effort to increase tax revenues, the bottom line is that all taxpayers who receive this notice must act quickly to retain their tax exemptions.
This Blog is Posted by a Guest of Marquardt Law Firm:
Eddie Callender, Jr.