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Exemption Audit Helps Ensure Equity in Property Tax System

Gregg County (Texas) Appraisal District officials accepted Linebarger’s homestead exemption audit findings recently and agreed that close to 200 homestead exemptions and related exemptions should be removed from accounts. The removal of these exemptions resulted in an additional $474,568 in taxes and interest payable to Gregg County taxing units.

“Attorneys performing the audit have little methods that [county appraisers] don’t [get] to use such as driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers to see if people have applied for homestead exemptions in multiple locations,” Gregg County Chief Appraiser Libby Neely told The Longview News-Journal. “They can look out of state. We don’t have the resources for that.”

Beyond the short-term benefits of collecting the taxes owed as a result of the eliminating the erroneous exemptions, the appraisal/tax rolls are also corrected as a result of this process. That brings more fairness to the taxing system and allows complete collection on corrected property rolls in future years. In Texas, a general homestead exemption can reduce a property’s taxable value by $25,000 for an ISD taxing entity.

To read more about these results for Gregg County, you can find the full article here. You can find more about Linebarger’s homestead exemption audit services here.