Keeping an eye out for tricky homestead designation forms

Local

Some homeowners in Central Texas have received a form county officials say could be mistaken for a tax break application for property owners. 

Private companies have been sending out the forms trying to get your cash. The appraisal district is not calling it a scam but more like an extra step that could cost you unnecessary money.

“We’ve noticed an increase in them. It is something that seems to be repetitive every year when we tend to see these. How they pick who they’re going to send them to? I’m not sure how they do that,” says McLennan County Assistant Chief Appraiser Joe Bobbitt.

Since April, Bobbitt has gotten calls about homestead designation forms being sent out to homeowners. Those different from the homestead exemptions they send out.

“Anything that we send out, it will have a McLennan County address and it will have our phone number and location and a website,” Bobbitt said.

Bobbitt says there is a difference between a homestead designation forms because they are sent by private companies. The exemption forms come from your county appraisal district and it’s free. 

“Since they are providing some service, it’s not completely fraudulent because they are filling out a form for you and sending you something back,” Bobbitt said. “It’s just not required.”

Designation forms typically ask you to pay within a certain amount of time. Bobbitt says it can be confusing and tricky if you don’t know the difference. He advises homeowners to be cautious.

“When they’re in doubt, if they get something that sounds even slightly fishy, they can always call,” Bobbitt said.

McLennan county also has their forms on their website. To view the homestead exemption forms, click here.

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