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GENERAL HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION
  1. What is a general homestead exemption?
  2. How do I qualify for this exemption?
  3. How many acres can I claim as my homestead?
  4. Do I need to reapply every year for the exemption?
  5. When and where do I apply for my homestead exemption?
  6. Can I claim a homestead on a mobile home if I do not own the land?
BUSINESS PERSONAL PROPERTY
  1. What is business personal property?
  2. Is leased equipment taxable?
  3. Is it to my benefit to render my property?
  4. Is my business taxable if I operate it from my home?
  5. What is a Confidential General Personal Property Rendition?
  6. Can I use my bookkeeping records as my rendition?
  7. Are rendered business records open to the public?
  8. What if I move or sell my business during the year?
  9. What if I close my business during the year, will my taxes be prorated?
  10. If I purchase an existing business, could I be responsible for back taxes?
  11. When do you file the rendition and what is the deadline?
  12. If I only have $100.00 worth of value why should I be taxed?
  13. I have a business that is in another county. Why are you appraising my property?
  14. The inventory in my business is higher on January 1 than any other month of the year. What can I do?
REAL ESTATE APPRAISAL
  1. How often do you reappraise property
  2. When is property taxable by taxing unit?
  3. What is a rendition?
  4. How does the appraisal district determine the value of a home?
  5. Why is IMPROVEMENT shown on my notice when I haven’t made any?
  6. Has anyone actually come out and looked at my property?
  7. Are property taxes based on a percentage?
  8. My house is 30 years old. Is that taken into consideration?
  9. Is my house ever depreciated?
  10. How do you arrive at a value on a house?
  11. My house was not finished on January 1, how do you appraise it?
  12. What if I own a mobile home but not the land?
  13. Were is the sketch of my house?
SENIOR CITIZEN EXEMPTION
  1. At what age do you qualify for the senior citizen exemption?
  2. How do I qualify for this exemption?
  3. Does my senior citizen exemption tax ceiling apply to all my taxes?
  4. Can my appraised value increase after I qualify for the senior citizen’s exemption?
  5. Do both my spouse and I have to be over 65 years of age?
  6. What is a tax deferral for senior citizen?
  7. Can I pay my taxes in installments?
DISABILITY EXEMPTION
  1. What is a disability exemption?
  2. What type of evidence do I submit to establish my entitlement to a disability exemption?
  3. If I am disabled and over 65 can I qualify for both exemptions?
  4. I am partially disabled but still able to work. Can I qualify?
  5. Do I have to file every year?
FAQ GENERAL HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONback to top
Q What is a general homestead exemption?
A The general homestead exemption is provided by state law for owner-occupied residential properties. The exemption removes a portion of your value from taxation thereby resulting in a lower tax amount for the homestead property.back to top
Q How do I qualify for this exemption?
A In order to qualify for this exemption you must have owned and occupied the property as of January 1st of that tax year. This property must also be your principal residence and you may not claim another homestead on another piece of property.back to top
Q How many acres can I claim as my homestead?
A State law allows you to claim that portion of your land that you maintain for residential purposes but this amount may not exceed 20 acres. Generally, one acre or less is maintained for homestead purposes.back to top
Q Do I need to reapply every year for the exemption?
A No. You do not have to reapply unless the chief appraiser requests a new application or you move to a new residence.back to top
Q When and where do I apply for my homestead exemption?
A You may apply at the Hays Central Appraisal District between January 1st and April 30th of the tax year. State law also provides for the filing for a late application. Contact our office for more information.back to top
Q Can I claim a homestead on a mobile home if I do not own the land?
A Yes. You will need to furnish a copy of your title to the mobile home or a verified copy of your purchase contract.back to top
FAQ BUSINESS PERSONAL PROPERTYback to top
Q What is business personal property?
A Business Personal Property is anything that is not real property used to generate income. It includes any property that is movable. It is also identified as inventory and/or supplies, furniture, fixtures, machinery, equipment, and vehicles.back to top
Q Is leased equipment taxable?
A Yes, it is taxable to the owner of the property as of January 1 of the tax year.back to top
Q Is it to my benefit to render my property?
A Yes, the appraiser will come by your property location to make an inspection and will make an estimate of your properties’ worth. The age and original cost of the property is very important and may help in determining the value of the property.back to top
Q Is my business taxable if I operate it from my home?
A Yes. All business use assets, regardless of location, are taxable.back to top
Q What is a Confidential General Personal Property Rendition?
A All business owners are required by law to report, or render their business use assets to the appraisal district yearly. The rendition should include all assets, inventories or supplies as of January 1.back to top
Q Can I use my bookkeeping records as my rendition?
A Yes. Attach these records to the rendition, sign and date it and then return it to our office.back to top
Q Are rendered business records open to the public?
A No. Personal property renditions are confidential and not available from open records for public inspection.back to top
Q What if I move or sell my business during the year?
A The tax liability on business personal property is determined as of January 1 of each tax year. Therefore the property is taxed according to its location and ownership as of January 1.back to top
Q What if I close my business during the year, will my taxes be prorated?
A No, the taxes will be assessed for the entire year.back to top
Q If I purchase an existing business, could I be responsible for back taxes?
A Yes, a tax certificate should be requested for all property transactions to avoid assuming deliquent tax liability. Contact the tax office to obtain a tax certificate on a piece of property.back to top
Q When do you file the rendition and what is the deadline?
A After January 1 and no later than April 15.back to top
Q If I only have $100.00 worth of value why should I be taxed?
A If the total taxable value of your personal property is less than $500.00 in any one taxing unit, then the properties are exempt in that taxing unit. You need to render your property to establish the value at less than $500.00back to top
Q I have a business that is in another county. Why are you appraising my property?
A The Hays Central Appraisal District covers areas outside the county in order to serve the school district or city that elected to have the Hays Central Appraisal District appraise their properties.back to top
Q The inventory in my business is higher on January 1 than any other month of the year. What can I do?
A Sec. 23.12, Property Tax Code, allows a business owner to have his or her inventory appraised at its value on September 1 of the prior year, four months before the normal January 1 date. The owner must file a request before August 1 of the prior year to qualify.back to top
FAQ REAL ESTATE APPRAISALback to top
Q How often do you reappraise property
A Typically, the appraisal district reviews all sales information and reviews all properties every year. Market value is the determining factor on deciding which properties are reappraised.back to top
Q When is property taxable by taxing unit?
A If a property is located in a taxing unit on January 1 for more than a temporary period then it is taxable.back to top
Q What is a rendition?
A A rendition is a report of the taxable property a person owns on January 1.back to top
Q How does the appraisal district determine the value of a home?
A The appraisal district compares a home to similar homes that have sold recently and determines the value accordingly.back to top
Q Why is IMPROVEMENT shown on my notice when I haven’t made any?
A Improvement on your notice means any structure that is attached to the land. A house is an improvement to the land.back to top
Q Has anyone actually come out and looked at my property?
A Yes, someone has reviewed your property, but it may not have been this year.back to top
Q Are property taxes based on a percentage?
A No, they are based on 100% of the fair market value of your porperty.back to top
Q My house is 30 years old. Is that taken into consideration?
A Yes. Age, size, condition and quality of construction are all taken into consideration.back to top
Q Is my house ever depreciated?
A Yes, but the increase in the fair market value may over ride the depreciation due to age.back to top
Q How do you arrive at a value on a house?
A The house is measured, classified, and depreciated due to its condition, and age. It is valued based on the sales at similar properties.back to top
Q My house was not finished on January 1, how do you appraise it?
A The improvement is added to the tax roll at the percent of completion as of January 1.back to top
Q What if I own a mobile home but not the land?
A We need a request for SEPERATE TAXATION filed with our office. This will allow the appraisal district to set the mobile home up on an improvement only account that does not have a land value.back to top
Q Were is the sketch of my house?
A Limiting residential photos, sketches or floor plans on the Internet. S.B. 541 adds Section 25.027 to the Tax Code prohibiting the posting of appraisal records on the Internet if the information is a photograph, sketch or floor plan of an improvement to real property that is designed primarily for use as a human residence. The prohibition does not apply to an aerial photograph that depicts five or more separately owned buildings. The bill is effective September 1, 2005, and affects homeowners and appraisal districts.back to top
FAQ SENIOR CITIZEN EXEMPTIONback to top
Q At what age do you qualify for the senior citizen exemption?
A You qualify for the senior citizen exemption on your 65th birthday. This exemption is an addition to your general homestead exemption.back to top
Q How do I qualify for this exemption?
A In order to qualify for this exemption you must meet the same qualifications as the general homestead exemption along with proof that you are 65 years old or older. You may apply for this exemption by providing the appraisal district proof of your age either with a birth certificate or drivers license.back to top
Q Does my senior citizen exemption tax ceiling apply to all my taxes?
A No. State law requires that once you are granted your senior citizen’s exemption your school tax ceiling will be established. Once you’ve established this tax ceiling, your taxes will remain the same for the remainder of the time you live at THAT particular home. The tax ceiling applies to your school taxes only.back to top
Q Can my appraised value increase after I qualify for the senior citizen’s exemption?
A Yes. The appraisal district is required by law to determine the appraised value of all properties. However, your tax ceiling will limit any increase in school taxes that you pay. Taxes to other taxing entities may increase if your value increases.back to top
Q Do both my spouse and I have to be over 65 years of age?
A No. Only one of you need to be over 65 years of age to qualify for this exemption. Once this exemption is granted, if the qualifying spouse should die, then the exemption would remain in effect for the remaining spouse if the survivor is 55 years or older and has ownership in the home. The ceiling remains in effect for as long as the spouse lives in the home. The surviving spouse needs to contact our office in order to continue receiving the exemption.back to top
Q What is a tax deferral for senior citizen?
A A homeowner age 65 of age or older may defer or postpone paying any delinquent property taxes on their home as long as they own and live in the home. To postpone your tax payments file a tax deferral affidavit with the appraisal district. A tax deferral only postpones paying your taxes, it doesn’t cancel them. Interest is added at the rate of 8% a year. Once your home ceases to be your homestead, past taxes and interest become due.back to top
Q Can I pay my taxes in installments?
A Yes. If you are over 65 years of age you may pay your taxes in four equal payments. Contact you tax office for details.back to top
FAQ DISABILITY EXEMPTIONback to top
Q What is a disability exemption?
A A disability exemption is an addition to your regular homestead exemption. You may qualify for this if you receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration.back to top
Q What type of evidence do I submit to establish my entitlement to a disability exemption?
A A letter from the Social Security Administration with the effective date of disability and/or a doctor’s statement is required.back to top
Q If I am disabled and over 65 can I qualify for both exemptions?
A No.back to top
Q I am partially disabled but still able to work. Can I qualify?
A No. You must meet requirements for disability under the federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program which is administered by the Social Security Administration.back to top
Q Do I have to file every year?
A No, only if the Chief Appraiser asks you to do so.back to top