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S.B. No. 1943

S.B. No. 1943

AN ACT
relating to the ad valorem taxation of heir property.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 1.04, Tax Code, is amended by adding
Subdivisions (20) and (21) to read as follows:
(20) “Heir property” means real property:
(A) owned by one or more individuals, at least
one of whom claims the property as the individual’s residence
homestead; and
(B) acquired by the owner or owners by will,
transfer on death deed, or intestacy, regardless of whether the
interests of the owners are recorded in the real property records of
the county in which the property is located.
(21) “Heir property owner” means an owner of heir
property who claims the property as the individual’s residence
homestead.
SECTION 2. Chapter 5, Tax Code, is amended by adding Section
5.061 to read as follows:
Sec. 5.061. EXPLANATION OF INFORMATION RELATED TO HEIR
PROPERTY. The comptroller shall prepare and electronically publish
a pamphlet that provides information to assist heir property owners
in applying for a residence homestead exemption authorized by
Chapter 11. The pamphlet must include:
(1) a list of the residence homestead exemptions
authorized by Chapter 11;
(2) a description of the process for applying for an
exemption as prescribed by Section 11.43;
(3) a description of the documents an owner is
required by Section 11.43(o) to submit with an application to
demonstrate the owner’s ownership of an interest in heir property;
(4) contact information for the division of the State
Bar of Texas from which a person may obtain a listing of individuals
and organizations available to provide free or reduced-fee legal
assistance; and
(5) a general description of the process by which an
owner may record the owner’s interest in heir property in the real
property records of the county in which the property is located.
SECTION 3. Section 11.13(h), Tax Code, is amended to read as
follows:
(h) Joint, community, or successive owners may not each
receive the same exemption provided by or pursuant to this section
for the same residence homestead in the same year. An eligible
disabled person who is 65 or older may not receive both a disabled
and an elderly residence homestead exemption but may choose either.
A person may not receive an exemption under this section for more
than one residence homestead in the same year. An heir property
owner who qualifies heir property as the owner’s residence
homestead under this chapter is considered the sole recipient of
any exemption granted to the owner for the residence homestead by or
pursuant to this section.
SECTION 4. Section 11.26, Tax Code, is amended by adding
Subsection (p) to read as follows:
(p) An heir property owner who qualifies heir property as
the owner’s residence homestead under this chapter is considered
the sole owner of the property for the purposes of this section.
SECTION 5. Section 11.261, Tax Code, is amended by adding
Subsection (n) to read as follows:
(n) An heir property owner who qualifies heir property as
the owner’s residence homestead under this chapter is considered
the sole owner of the property for the purposes of this section.
SECTION 6. Section 11.41, Tax Code, is amended by adding
Subsection (c) to read as follows:
(c) An heir property owner who qualifies heir property as
the owner’s residence homestead under this chapter is considered
the sole owner of the property for the purposes of this section.
SECTION 7. Section 11.43, Tax Code, is amended by amending
Subsection (o) and adding Subsections (o-1) and (o-2) to read as
follows:
(o) The application form for a residence homestead [an]
exemption [authorized by Section 11.13] must require an applicant
[for an exemption under Subsection (c) or (d) of that section] who
is not specifically identified on a deed or other appropriate
instrument recorded in the [applicable] real property records of
the county in which the property is located as an owner of the
residence homestead, including an heir property owner, to provide:
(1) an affidavit [or other compelling evidence]
establishing the applicant’s ownership of an interest in the
property;
(2) a copy of the death certificate of the prior owner
of the property, if the applicant is an heir property owner;
(3) a copy of the most recent utility bill for the
property, if the applicant is an heir property owner; and
(4) a citation of any court record relating to the
applicant’s ownership of the property if available [homestead].
(o-1) The application form for a residence homestead
exemption may not require an heir property owner to provide a copy
of an instrument recorded in the real property records of the county
in which the property is located.
(o-2) The application form for a residence homestead
exemption must require:
(1) an applicant who is an heir property owner to state
that the property for which the application is submitted is heir
property; and
(2) each owner of an interest in heir property who
occupies the property as the owner’s principal residence, other
than the applicant, to provide an affidavit that authorizes the
submission of the application.
SECTION 8. Subchapter C, Chapter 11, Tax Code, is amended by
adding Section 11.49 to read as follows:
Sec. 11.49. LEGAL TITLE NOT AFFECTED. (a) The grant or
denial of an application by an heir property owner for a residence
homestead exemption under this chapter does not affect the legal
title of the property subject to the application and does not
operate to transfer title to that property.
(b) An appraisal district, chief appraiser, appraisal
review board, or county assessor-collector may not be made a party
to a proceeding to adjudicate ownership of property described by
Subsection (a) except as prescribed by this title.
SECTION 9. Section 33.06, Tax Code, is amended by adding
Subsection (h) to read as follows:
(h) An heir property owner who qualifies heir property as
the owner’s residence homestead under Chapter 11 is considered the
sole owner of the property for the purposes of this section.
SECTION 10. Section 33.065, Tax Code, is amended by adding
Subsection (j) to read as follows:
(j) An heir property owner who qualifies heir property as
the owner’s residence homestead under Chapter 11 is considered the
sole owner of the property for the purposes of this section.
SECTION 11. Not later than January 1, 2020, the comptroller
of public accounts shall make available the pamphlet required by
Section 5.061, Tax Code, as added by this Act.
SECTION 12. The changes in law made by this Act apply only
to an ad valorem tax year that begins on or after the effective date
of this Act.
SECTION 13. This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.

______________________________ ______________________________
President of the Senate Speaker of the House

I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1943 passed the Senate on
May 2, 2019, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.

______________________________
Secretary of the Senate

I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1943 passed the House on
May 22, 2019, by the following vote: Yeas 142, Nays 2, two
present not voting.

______________________________
Chief Clerk of the House

Approved:

______________________________
Date

______________________________
Governor

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