The majority of the press during the 2023 Texas legislative session centered on the budget surplus being used to lower property taxes when Proposition 4 overwhelmingly passed. The residential homestead exemption was increased to $100,000 because of Proposition 4’s passing, among other things. However, a second piece of legislation was passed significant to the residential homestead exemption.
Senate Bill 1801 was signed on May 16, 2023, and became law on September 1, 2023. According to Texas Property Tax Code Section 11.43, subsection h-1: “The chief appraiser of an appraisal district shall develop a program for the periodic review of each residential homestead exemption to confirm that the receipt of the exemption still qualifies for the exemption. The program must require the chief appraiser to review each residence homestead exemption at least once every five tax years.”
Essentially, each county in the state of Texas is now responsible for enacting a program where homeowners are asked to reverify their homestead exemption. Multiple counties have already begun the notification process. Travis County’s (Austin) Central Appraisal District website issued a press release on January 3, 2024, which included the following statement: “Starting in 2024, TCAD is required to verify a property owner’s eligibility to continue to receive their homestead exemption every five years. Property owners scheduled for reverification will receive a notice from the district with instructions on how to complete the process.”
Additionally, Tarrant County’s Central Appraisal District website also reflects a similar press release, stating: “The 88th Texas Legislative Regular Session introduced Senate Bill 1801, bringing about changes that directly impact the homestead exemption process. One of the key provisions mandates that TAD must confirm the eligibility of recipients for residence homestead exemptions at least once every five tax years. To comply with this requirement, TAD has taken proactive measures by recently mailing homestead exemption applications and requesting supporting documentation to some homeowners. This is an essential step in ensuring that homeowners continue to receive the benefits of their homestead exemptions. If you're a homeowner who has received an application, it's crucial to act promptly. TAD has a deadline for reapplication as December 31, 2024. Failure to reapply by this date may result in the cancellation of your current homestead exemptions.”
The early indication is there will be an application that accompanies the notice you receive from the district to direct you on how to reverify your residential homestead exemption. It is important to note this piece of the tax code only affects the residential homestead exemption, specifically. There is no language suggesting other exemption classes may need to be verified as well.