Dispelling a homestead exemption email myth

Dispelling a homestead exemption email myth

An old email about Texas homestead exemptions seems to pop up whenever an election approaches. In this message, the sender warns seniors and disabled citizens about losing their homestead exemption.

It certainly catches the eye … and the sender probably has good intentions, but it’s just not true.

A short history lesson

In May 2007, Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to extend property-tax relief to elderly and disabled citizens.

The amendment addresses an administrative oversight whereby a then-recently passed property-tax reduction did not apply to homeowners whose tax rates were frozen due to being over 65 or disabled.

It also bears mentioning that these citizens were never in jeopardy of outright losing their homestead exemptions.

Text of the bogus email

Very important for seniors and disabled. Remember to vote AND look for this on the ballot. You MUST vote in May to keep the Homestead tax cap for 65 and over, even if you are not 65 yet. If you are a Texas homeowner then this is important to YOU, no matter what your current age, or if you are disabled or not. It WILL BENEFIT YOU in the future. It is also very important to your relatives/friends who are in one of these groups already. If you agree, please pass along to all on your TEXAS Residents email lists.

I am sending this email to everyone on my email address list who lives in Texas . I want to be certain you are aware of a constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot at the May election. It is an amendment to correct an error made by the lawmakers when they voted for a reduction in school property taxes in 2005.

When the lawmakers voted for a one-third reduction in school property taxes beginning in 2006 and to be completed this year, they FORGOT about the Homestead Exemption for senior citizens (65 and older) and people with disabilities. The state constitution caps school property taxes for homeowners 65 years and older and those who are disabled. However, they DID NOT get the same reduction when the property tax cut for schools was voted on two years ago.

So an amendment is on the May ballot to correct this error. The problem is that most voters who are younger than 65 or not disabled probably won't even notice the amendment or care. At least not until THEY become 65 or disabled themselves and then if this doesn't pass, it will be TOO LATE. PLEASE get out and vote for this amendment if not for yourself, then for your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends.

We would really appreciate your getting the word out to all your friends and families to VOTE FOR this Amendment. The fear is that with a low voter turnout, the amendment could very well not pass. So, please, please pass the word and VOTE FOR the Constitutional Amendment. Early voting will take place April 30 - May 5 from 7 am to 7 pm; May 6 from noon to 6 pm and May 7 - May 8 from 7 am to 7 pm. Election day is May 12 from 7 am to 7 pm.

Fernando Bustamante Headshot
Phone: 915-319-9004
Dated: July 28th 2012
Views: 2,394
About Fernando: ...

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