A new Texas Homestead Law took effect Sept. 1. House Bill 252 requires homeowners for the first time to prove that they actually reside in the home they are claiming as a homestead. Required documents are the homeowner's driver's license or state ID card plus vehicle registration. If the homeowner doesn't own a vehicle, a copy of a utility bill plus an affidavit stating that no vehicle is owned is accepted. The address on all documents must match the address for which the owner is claiming an exemption. This new law applies only to new homestead applications. Any previous exemption will remain in effect.
This law also applied for those applying for the over-65 exemption, disability and disabled vet exemptions. In addition, the extended exemption for a surviving spouse and the mobile or manufactured home exemption are also included in the new law.
Those appling for the mobile or manufactures home exemption must now provide proof of purchase and a Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs document stating proof of location and ownership. These forms are available on-line at http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxforms/50-114.pdf