Residential Homestead of 100% Disabled Texas Veterans Now Tax Exempt
In 2009, the Texas Legislature enacted Section 11.131 of the Texas Property Tax Code
which eliminates the requirement of 100% disabled veterans with service connected disabilities who receive 100% VA disability compensation to pay real estate taxes on their residential homestead. This exemption is significant in that it is in addition to the existing Texas law which allows 100% disabled individuals to defer real estate taxes and stay tax foreclosure lawsuits. Under the old law a 100% disabled individual unable to pay his real estate tax and facing a county or school district tax foreclosure suit could file an affidavit of disability in order to stay the lawsuit and/or the collection of the tax until his death. The accrued tax would then be payable upon his death.
This new law does not simply defer the obligation to pay real estate taxes, it ELIMINATES THE REQUIREMENT TO PAY REAL ESTATE TAX, for the life of the veteran. At death there is no tax owed for the exemption period. For most Texas veterans this tax savings amounts to several thousand dollars a year. As to those 100% disabled veterans who qualify with mortgages and escrow accounts, their home mortgage payments should be reduced by the monthly amount attributable to ad valorem taxes since these taxes will no longer be due.
This exemption is not automatic. A special form to claim the 100% tax exemption must be filled out and returned to the local county tax office in a timely fashion. The forms are available from the county tax offices and appraisal district offices. In Bexar County, Texas, the form is available online.
This new law represents a small tribute to those Texas service members who sustained serious injuries while serving our country. It comes far too late to benefit the tens of thousands of disabled Texas veterans who served in World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam who did not live to enjoy the benefits of this statute.
Since this new law is widely unknown to those who need it most, please pass this information along to any 100% service-connected disabled Texas veteran whom you may know.