Some homeowners taking exception to exemption

February 9, 2013

Hood County residents who have received a letter stating they must refile with the Hood County Appraisal District for a homestead exemption may be looking for someone to blame for the inconvenience.

Blame the 82nd Legislature. Or blame people who’ve tried to pull a fast one with Uncle Sam.

Chief Appraiser Greg Stewart explained that the Legislature mandated the refiling because of people who have owned more than one home and claimed too many homestead exemptions. As Spiderman says: “Everybody gets one” – emphasis on “one.”

To refile, homeowners must fill out the form sent by the Appraisal District. They must submit the form, along with a copy of their drivers license and a copy of their vehicle registration receipt, to the Appraisal District either in person or by mail.

Stewart said that last year his office split the task imposed by the 82nd Legislature, mailing letters to half of Hood County’s homeowners.

Last week, letters went out to the other half.

Not everyone is particularly happy about it. Stewart said he spent part of Monday morning dealing with a very angry man who demanded to know what legislators were responsible for the hassle he was having to endure.

Those who didn’t follow instructions on their vehicle registration paperwork to keep the receipt in their glove box will have to go back to the Tax Assessor’s office and pay $2 for a duplicate, Stewart said.

While the process may be annoying, Stewart said that people have plenty of time to get it done.

“You’ve got until April 30 to turn this in,” he said. “It’s not like it’s got to be done this week.”

The chief appraiser said people with homestead exemptions get $15,000 taken off their property values for the school and $3,000 for the county roads value.

“It (amounts to) about $162 to $165,” he said.

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