Appraisal Districts. Who governs a local county appraisal district? How are directors chosen? How is an appraisal district funded?

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1 Appraisal Districts Who governs a local county appraisal district? A local board of directors governs the appraisal district. How are directors chosen? The governing bodies of the taxing units that vote on the appraisal district s budget (county, city, and school districts) select the appraisal district s directors. If the governing bodies do not select the county tax assessorcollector as a director, the county tax assessor-collector will serve as a non-voting director. How is an appraisal district funded? Each taxing unit located in Comal County pays its pro rata share of the budget. The Comal Appraisal District bases each taxing unit s share on the amount of taxes levied by that unit compared to the total taxes levied by all units in the district. How do I address a complaint to the Board of Directors? The public may file a complaint with the Comal Appraisal District Board of Directors concerning the operation of the Appraisal Office or any other function the board has responsibility. The board will not consider complaints addressing any of the grounds for a challenge, a protest, or a motion for correction of the appraisal roll that are specified in sections 41.03, 41.07, and of the Texas Property Tax Code. If a member of the public wishes to file a complaint, he or she should do so in writing and mail or deliver the complaint to: Chairman, Comal Appraisal District Board of Directors, 900 S. Seguin Ave., New Braunfels, TX How are Appraisal Review Board (ARB) members appointed? The Comal Appraisal District Board of Directors appoints the ARB members. What qualifications must an individual meet to serve on the ARB? An individual must be a resident of Comal County and have resided in Comal County for at least two years. Additionally, an individual is ineligible to serve on an ARB if the individual: is related within the second degree by consanguinity or affinity to an individual who is engaged in the business of appraising property for compensation for use in ARB proceedings or of representing property owners for compensation in ARB proceedings; owns property on which delinquent taxes have been owed to a taxing unit for more than 60 days unless the delinquency is being paid through an installment agreement or a suit is deferred or abated under section and of the Texas Property Tax Code; is related within the third degree by consanguinity or within the second degree by affinity to a member of the Comal Appraisal District Board of Directors; has served for all or part of three previous terms as an ARB member or is a former member of the Comal Appraisal District Board of Directors, officer, or employee of the Comal Appraisal District; or is within 4 years of serving as a member of a governing body or officer of a taxing unit in Comal County; or if the individual has ever appeared before the appraisal review board for compensation.

2 Exemptions How do I qualify for the Residence Homestead Exemption? In order to qualify for a Residence Homestead Exemption, you must have owned and occupied the property as of January 1 st of that tax year. The property must also be your principle residence and you may not claim another homestead on another piece of property. How many acres can I claim as my homestead? You may not exceed 20 acres of land used and maintained for residential purposes. When and where do I apply for my homestead exemption? You may apply at the Comal Appraisal District between January 1 st and April 30 th of the tax year. You may file for a late homestead exemption up to one year after the date the taxes would have become delinquent. You can find an application in the Forms section of our website. What documents must I include with my homestead application? The Comal Appraisal District may not approve a residential homestead exemption unless the applicant includes a copy of his or her driver s license or state-issued personal identification certificate The address on the applicant s driver s license must match the corresponding address on the Residence Homestead Exemption application. Please contact the Comal Appraisal District for exceptions to this law. What if I do not have a driver s license? The applicant must provide a copy of a state-issued personal identification certificate. The address on the personal identification certificate must match the corresponding address of the Residence Homestead Exemption application. Am I eligible for additional exemptions when I turn 65? Yes. Your residence homestead will qualify for additional exemption deductions, and you will receive a tax ceiling for your residence homestead on your school and county taxes. Please refer to our exemption schedule under the information section of our website for exemption and tax ceiling information. When applying, the property owner must include the documents required for approval of a homestead exemption.

3 What is a homestead tax ceiling? A homestead tax ceiling is the amount of taxes you pay in the year that you qualified for the 65 and older or disabled person exemption and limits the amount of taxes you must pay on your residence. If you qualify your home for a 65 and older or disabled person homestead exemption, the taxes on your county, your school, and if applicable, your city, cannot increase as long as you own and occupy your home. If you improve your home (other than normal repairs and maintenance), your tax ceilings will adjust based on the added value of the new improvements to your property. For example, if you add a garage or game room to the house after you establish a tax ceiling, the tax ceiling will increase based on the value of the new addition. Does the tax ceiling transfer when a person who is age 65 or older or is disabled or is the surviving spouse (age 55 or older) of a person who was age 65 or older moves to another home? A percentage of the county, school, or city tax ceilings may be transferred. However, if the county or city of your new home does not offer a tax ceiling, then only the school percentage will transfer to your new home. The tax ceiling on your new home would be calculated to give the same percentage of tax paid as the tax ceiling of your previous home. For example, if the tax ceiling for your school taxes was $100, but you would have paid $400 without the ceiling, the percent of tax paid would be 25 percent. When you move to your new home, if school taxes on the new homestead would normally be $ 1,000 in the first year, the new tax ceiling would be $250. To transfer a tax ceiling, you may request a tax ceiling certificate from the chief appraiser in the last appraisal district in which you received the tax ceiling. The certificate is then presented to the chief appraiser in the district where your new home is located when you apply for homestead exemptions for your new home. I am a surviving spouse. Am I eligible for any exemption benefits? If your spouse was receiving a tax ceiling on a homesteaded residence, the ceiling transfers to the surviving spouse if the surviving spouse is at least 55 years old and has ownership in the home. The surviving spouse must apply to the appraisal district in order for the tax ceiling to transfer. When applying, the surviving spouse must include the documents required for approval of a homestead exemption. Can I apply for a homestead exemption on a manufactured home? Yes. For a manufactured home to qualify for a residence homestead, the applicant must provide all the documentation needed for a residence homestead exemption and include a copy of the statement of ownership and location for the manufactured home issued by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs showing that the applicant is the owner of the manufactured home; a copy of a purchase contract or payment receipt showing the applicant is the purchaser of the manufactured home; or a sworn affidavit by the applicant indicating that; the applicant is the owner of the manufactured home; the seller of the manufactured home did not provide the applicant with a purchase contract; and the applicant could not locate the seller after making a good faith effort. I am a disabled veteran. Am I entitled to any property tax deduction? Yes. You may qualify for a property tax deduction if you are a veteran who was disabled while serving with the U.S. Armed Forces or you are a surviving spouse or child (under 18 years of age or unmarried) of a disabled veteran. You must be a Texas resident and must provide documentation from the Veteran s Administration reflecting the percentage of your service-connected disability.

4 The following is the amount of the exemption you will receive: for a disability rating of at least: but less than: exemption of up to: 10% 30 % $ 5,000 of the assessed value 30% 50% $ 7,500 50% 70% $10,000 70% and over $12,000 I am a disabled veteran with a 100 percent disability rating or who has been judged to be unemployable by the Veterans Administration. Am I entitled to special homestead considerations? Yes. A disabled veteran who receives from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs 100 percent disability compensation due to a service-connected disability and a rating of 100 percent disabled or a rating of less than 100 percent but classified as unemployable is entitled to an exemption from taxation of the total appraised value of the veteran s residence homestead. When applying, the property owner must include the documents required for approval of a homestead exemption in addition to a letter from the Veteran s Administration showing the disability compensation and rating. I am a homeowner with disabilities. May I receive any property tax benefits? Yes. A person with a disability may get exemptions if you can t engage in gainful employment due to a physical or mental disability or you are 55 years old and blind and can t engage in your previous work because of your blindness. If you receive disability benefits under the Federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program through the Social Security Administration you may qualify. Disability benefits from any other programs do not automatically qualify. I am a surviving spouse. Am I eligible for any exemption benefits? If a homeowner who has been receiving an O-65 exemption and has a tax ceiling dies, the ceilings transfer to the surviving spouse, if the spouse is 55 or older and has ownership in the home. If a homeowner who has been receiving a disability exemption and has a tax ceiling dies, the ceilings for the county and city transfer to the surviving spouse, if the spouse is 55 or older and has ownership in the home. The surviving spouse must apply to the appraisal district for the tax ceiling transfer. I am a surviving spouse of a 100 percent disabled veteran or a disabled veteran judged unemployable by the Veteran s Administration. Am I entitled to any special homestead considerations? Yes. The surviving spouse must have been married to a disabled veteran at the time of the veteran s death and the disabled veteran must have qualified for the 100 percent or totally disabled veteran exemption when he or she died. The property must have been the residence homestead of the surviving spouse when the disabled veteran died and remain the residence homestead of the surviving spouse. How much is the Surviving Spouse of a 100 percent disabled veteran exemption? The total appraised value of the same property to which the disabled veteran s exemption applied.

5 Does the surviving spouse of a 100 percent qualify for an exemption if he or she remarries? No. A surviving spouse does NOT qualify if the surviving spouse has remarried since the death of the disabled veteran. If a surviving spouse of a 100 percent disabled veteran qualifies for the exemption and then moves to a new residence, can the surviving spouse get an exemption on that homestead? Yes. A surviving spouse can receive an exemption on a subsequent homestead if he or she has not remarried since the death of the disabled veteran; however, the amount of the exemption is the amount of the exemption from taxation of the prior homestead in the last year the surviving spouse received the exemption. If I own only 50 percent of the home I live in, do I qualify for a residence homestead exemption on the home? Yes. However, the exemption you receive is based on the interest you own. For example, if you own a 50 percent interest in the home, you will receive one-half of the exemptions offered by the state and your local taxing entities. Ownership How do I change my mailing address? Please submit your request in writing indicating the correct address for your property and a daytime phone number where you can be reached, in case we have questions. For your convenience, we have provided a Change of Address form on our web site. You are not required to use this form. You may also: our office Mail your information to our office at 900 South Seguin Ave. New Braunfels, TX Visit our office at 900 South Seguin Ave. New Braunfels, TX Can I change my mailing address by phone? It is the Comal Appraisal District s policy not to make address changes over the phone. What do I do if the ownership does not reflect the current ownership of a property? The Comal Appraisal District uses deed records recorded with the Comal County Clerk s Office to correct or change ownership information. If your ownership has not been updated within 30 days of your closing date, verify with the Comal County Clerk (830) whether your deed has been recorded. If it was recorded, please contact our office (830) so we can research and correct our ownership record.

6 Property Values How do I find out the appraised value of my property? We send out a detailed Notice of Appraised Value to the property owner at least once every three years. The Notice of Appraised Value contains a description of your property, any exemptions on your property, your property values and an estimate of taxes. Property value information is also available on our web sites property search tab, or by calling or visiting our office. When do you mail Notices of Appraised Value? Generally, Notices of Appraised Value on real estate property will be mailed no later than May 1 st. How often do you appraise my property? The Comal Appraisal District must complete the appraisal process for each property in the county at least once every three years. Why are you inspecting my property? In order to make an accurate appraisal on every property in our county, we have to visit properties periodically to ensure that the data used in making the appraisal is still correct. How does the appraisal district determine the value of my home? Your home is measured, classified, and depreciated for condition and age. We then use mass appraisal procedures to compare your home to similar homes that have recently sold in your market area to determine the value of your home. What is fair market value? Fair market value is the price at which a property would transfer for cash or its equivalent under prevailing market conditions if: Exposed for sale in the open market with a reasonable time for the seller to find a purchaser; both the buyer and seller know all of the uses and purposes to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used and of the enforceable restrictions on its use, and both the buyer and seller seek to maximize their gains and neither is in a position to take advantage of the exigencies of the other. My house was not completed as of January 1. How do you appraise it? The house is added to the tax roll at the percent complete as of January 1 st. How do I protest my value? In order to protest the appraised value of your property, you must notify the Appraisal District by the deadline shown on your Notice of Appraised Value. Generally, the deadline to file your protest is May 31 st or 30 days from the Notice of Appraised Value whichever is later. If you did not receive a Notice of Appraised Value, you can still file a protest by filling out the appropriate protest form; however, the filing deadline would remain the same. The protest form is available on our web site or you may contact our office and we can send a protest form directly to you. Additionally, you may submit a letter in lieu of the protest form. The letter must identify the protesting property owner, identify the property that is subject to the protest, and indicate in the letter an apparent dissatisfaction with some determination of the appraisal office.

7 Business Personal Property What is a rendition for Business Personal Property? A rendition is a form that provides the appraisal district with the description, location, cost and acquisition dates for business personal property that you own. The appraisal district uses the information to help estimate the market value of your property for taxation purposes. Who must file a rendition? Renditions must be filed by both owners of tangible personal property that is used for the production of income and owners of tangible personal property on which an exemption has been cancelled or denied. What types of property must be rendered? Business owners are required to render business personal property that is used in a business or used to produce income. This property includes such things as furniture and fixtures, equipment, machinery, computers, inventory held for sale or rental, raw materials, finished goods, and work in progress. You are not required to render intangible personal property such as cash, accounts receivable, goodwill, application computer software, and similar items. When and where must the rendition be filed? The last day to file your rendition is April 15 th. If you mail your rendition, it must have a postmark on or before April 15 th. A 30 day extension can be obtained from the Chief Appraiser so long as the Chief Appraiser receives a written request for the extension on or before April 15 th. You may mail your renditions to the Comal Appraisal District, 900 S. Seguin Ave, New Braunfels TX 78130, fax your rendition to (830) , or your rendition to

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