Q: I am over 65, and we have the ‘Over 65’ tax exemption on our home. We live in Galveston County but are about to move to another city in the county. Will we lose our ‘over 65’ exemption when we move?
You will not lose your over 65 exemption, but you will lose the benefit of the city tax ceiling – you will start all over on that one. The dollar amount of the over 65 exemption given by the new city will be applied for this year. It is best for you to contact the Galveston Central Appraisal District who will “port” your tax ceiling for the county and the school district (and possibly the community college if you are in COM and relocate to another property in COM). Tax ceilings can go up if you improve your home (other than by normal repairs and maintenance). For example, if you add a garage or a room to your home, your tax ceiling can rise. (I went to the expert, Cheryl Johnson, for help on this one)
***If you are planning on protesting your taxes this year, keep in mind that the deadline has been changed from the end of May to May 15th! Don’t miss out!***
Q: I’ve seen some things online about Fair Housing. I think I know what it is, but I’m not positive. Can you tell me more?
You’ve probably seen or heard this mentioned because April is the 50th Anniversary of The Fair Housing Act (1968). This Act protects you and I and everyone else from discrimination based on race, religion, familial status, sex, color, national origin or handicap. For example, as Realtors, we may be asked by a buyer to show only property in an area with “not a lot of kids” or an area with a lot of “people like us” or to avoid an area with a lot of people of a certain religion, etc. We abide by the Fair Housing Act and cannot discriminate using any of that criteria. Realtors commit to do more not to discriminate based on someone’s gender identity or sexual orientation. Local laws may also expand upon the classes covered.
Tanya Jones, 2018 President of GAR, is a Realtor with The House Company and can be reached at Tanya@TheHouseCompany.com or 409 789 7222.