This past November, Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment authorizing a 100 percent property tax exemption for the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a 100 percent disabled veteran. Tax Code Section 11.131 was amended to permit this exemption. The surviving spouse of a disabled veteran who qualified for the exemption provided under Tax Code Section 11.131, which was effective for the first time in 2009, may receive the exemption if other requirements are met.
On April 13, 2012, the Attorney General issued Opinion No. GA-0918 to provide that effective Jan. 1, 2012, the exemption applies to the surviving spouse of a fully disabled veteran who at the time of death qualified for the 100 percent or totally disabled exemption under Tax Code Section 11.131(b). The Attorney General noted that the fact that the disabled veteran died in 2011, prior to the effective date, does not deprive the surviving spouse of the exemption for the 2012 tax year.
Last year, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 540. The bill required the Comptroller to conduct a study on the fiscal impact of adjusting the exemption amounts found in Tax Code Section 11.22 for property owned by disabled veterans. The exemption amount adjustments would be based on the percentage change from the preceding tax year in the average market value of residence homesteads in each appraisal district.
The study found that if the maximum exemption amount had been adjusted, a qualified disabled veteran with a disability rating of 70 percent or higher would have had a $20,400 exemption (rather than the actual exemption amount of $12,000). The average qualified disabled veteran would have saved $122 on the 2010 tax bill.
The adoption of Property Tax Administration Rule §9.100 Property Value Study Advisory Committee was published in the May 4, 2012, Texas Register and is effective on May 13, 2012. Courtesy copies of the text of the rules are available on the Property Tax Assistance Division’s Property Tax Rules webpage. You may review proposals and adoptions, including preambles, as published in the Texas Register on the Texas Secretary of State’s website.
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Property Tax Assistance Division