New property tax exemption for veterans’ surviving spouses

(AUSTIN) — Texas continues to do its part to keep helping military veterans and their families. A full homestead property tax exemption that began in 2009 to help totally disabled military veterans will extend to their surviving spouses after Jan. 1.

“This new provision will help families who have been a part of the tremendous sacrifice that veterans have given our country,” said Texas Comptroller Susan Combs. “Texas voters overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment that will allow surviving spouses of totally disabled veterans to continue to claim a full homestead exemption and not pay property taxes on their home.”

In 2009, veterans began receiving an exemption for the total appraised value of their residential homesteads if they have received 100 percent disability rating or are considered unemployable by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Based on information provided by appraisal districts, about 35,300 veterans currently receive that exemption.

The homestead exemption for surviving spouses of veterans who received the exemption begins Jan. 1. Senate Bill 516 allows the total homestead exemption if a surviving spouse does not remarry after a disabled veteran passes away and the property remains the homestead of the surviving spouse.

Surviving spouses would have to apply for the tax exemption through their county appraisal district. The application form containing property tax exemptions has been updated for residents and appraisal districts to use. It can be found at http:// taxforms/50-114.pdf.

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