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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 18, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas 10A n HeraldZeitunq n Friday April Exemptions can reduce property tax bills Special to the HeraldZeltung Homeowners can reduce their property tax bills in 1997 by taking advantages of exemptions Application forms are available at the Comal Appraisal District office Lynn Rodgers chief appraiser of the Comal Appraisal District informs homeowners that Texas law allows them to file a onetime application for home exemptions These exemptions reduce the appraised value of the home You do not have to pay a fee to file for a homestead Rodgers said Property owners who have never received exemptions on their homes in which they were living on Jan 1 1997 and those who became 65 or disabled during 1996 must apply this year to receive exemptions for 1997 Homeowners must file signed completed applications at the appraisal office by April 30 A homeowners principal residence and yard are considered the residence homestead It can include as much as 20 acres of land and improvements such as a swimming pool greenhouse or other structure as long as the owner uses them for residential purposes Rodgers said a property must meet four tests set by law in order to qualify for the residence homestead exemption The person or persons claiming the exemption must own the property on Jan 1 the property must be designed or adapted for human residence the owner must use the property as a residence and the property must be the principal residence of an owner who qualifies for the exemption A mobile home even on leased land can qualify for the residential homestead exemption if it meets the four tests A property owner can still qualify for the homestead exemption if part of the residence is rented out or used for other purposes such as a home Rodgers said And the A property owner can still quality for the homestead exemption if part of the residence is rented out or used for other purposes such as a home business And the home will not lose its exemption if the owner moves away temporarily so long as he or she intends to return and doesnt claim another homestead exemption Lynn Rodgers Comal Appraisal District home will not lose its exemption if the owner moves away temporarily so long as he or she intends to return and doesnt claim another homestead exemption Texas law provides several types of homestead exemptions For school purposes there is a general homestead exemption to all homeowners and an additional exemption to those 65 or older or disabled The school tax exemption for those 65 or older provides a special property tax ceiling for school taxes While the market value of an elderly persons home may fluctuate with the market the school taxes cannot increase above the tax amount in the first year that person qualified for the exemption The ceiling can increase however if the owner adds an improvement other than normal maintenance or repair When that happens the new improvement is taxes at its current market value and the current tax rates The new taxes are added to the previous tax ceiling to create a new ceiling If an elderly homeowner dies the surviving spouse may apply to keep the tax ceiling if the spouse was at least 55 years of age when the older spouse died The ceiling does not apply to taxes levied by the county city or other taxing units An elderly homeowner who has not previously received the over65 exemption must apply for the exemption before April Rodgers stressed To qualify the homeowner must be 65 or older on Jan Counties must offer a general homestead exemption on the portion of the county tax levied for farmtomarket roads or flood control Any taxing units governing body WANT TO KNOW MORE For more homeowners may contact the Comal Appraisal District at 178 E Mill Suite 101 New Braunfels may grant an additional optional exemption on the homesteads of disabled or elderly residents or both Taxing units may also offer a localoption homestead exemption based on a percentage of a homes appraised value In 1997 any taxing unit can exempt up to 20 percent of the value of each qualified homestead No matter what percentage the taxing unit adopts the dollar amount for any homestead exemption must be at least Percentage homestead exemptions are granted by Comal Independent School District at 20 percent Comal County at 20 percent and the City of New Braunfels at 20 percent Corps reduces outflow from Canyon Lake river outfitters are immediately notified of changes in reservoir said GuadalupeBlanco River Authority General Manager Bill West The public is advised to always exercise caution any time they are engaged in water recreation GBRA is responsible for releasing water from the conservation pool at or below 909 feet msl and manages the conservation storage portion of the reservoir under a permit issued by the Texas Water Commission now a part of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission The release rate from Canyon Reservoir is based upon several factors including licensed flows for the project senior water rights and contract releases out of storage that are committed to cities industries and other downstream users Submitted by the Army Corps of Engineers GuadupeBlanco River Authority FAY FEYMIRE HAL FEYMIRE THE WESTERN STARS APPEARING AT f Wagon Wheel Inn jr Saturday Night April 19 The Army Corps of Engineers began a gradual reduction of the Canyon Reservoir release rate Wednesday from cubic feet per second to approximately 700 cfs Corps officials expect the 700 cfs rate to be in effect late today continue through the weekend and be reevaluated Monday based on current weather and river conditions Under the Canyon Reservoir management plan water from rainfall and other storm events that accumulates in the flood pool at elevations above 909 feet above mean sea level is the responsibility of the Corps and is released as required by its operating procedures At reservoir levels above 911 feet msl the Corps may set the release rate as high as cfs depending on downstream river conditions As of 8 Thursday Canyon Reservoir elevation was feet msl and the inflow at Spring Branch Area media elected officials and FURNITURE AND ACCESSORIES SPANISH COLONIAL MEXICAN RUSTIC C WROUGHT displayed at EXIT 121 SELECT MODULAR Inquiries call 6292946 IH35 Exit 191 about 500 yds toward San Antonio LACKS Its Dave Lacks Birthday but A VC Gift of Savings are for you IdF tl y CS Contemporary Sofa by Schnadig has Tcushion attached back alternating back pillows and reversible seat cushions upholstered 99 bun feet List Price 90648 Loveseat Sofa RflSM Refrigerator shelves factory installed icemaker gallon storage door shelf ET18NKXF List Price 754310 199 input terminals deluxe onscreen menu display access remote control 25JM100 LaZBoy RecISnaRoeker Mauve or blue velvet cover List Price List Price 703020 Everything is on Sale Huge Savings Queen Panel Headboard and NIgMstand Door Chest Kln9 Panel Hdbd Fud TTVV TVAnnoIre Ran priced List Price 9288 Dresser Mirror separately Duty Washer water level selections V CwHwB temps WBSR1060T List Price 772000 99 List Price 80457 Twin Ea PC Full Ea King 3 PC Oreat Selection of Quality Bedding MONEY Discounts shown are off of regular or list prices which are offering prices only Sales may or may not have occurred Throughout the year advertised merchandise may he available at these or similar sale prices These prices do not reflect possible occasional markdowns Buy with no money down and make no payments unril June 60 days maximum from purchase Finance charges will accrue hut will he refunded if account is paid in full on or before first payment date If you choose not to pay off your purchase by the first payment date you only have to make the monthly payments shown Subject lo credit approval Does not annlv to previous purchases but new purchases may he consolidated with prior contract balance Credit offer ends April 29 1997 LACKS NEW BRAUNFELS 971 West San Antonio 6257324 MF 97 Sat 96 Sun 15 All merchandise is priced lor pickup at our store or warehouse docks Some items may require partial assembly Or if vou wish we will deliver and set up in your home for an additional charge With activation I With activation A Value Cellular with allday battery Dial 20 frequently called numbers by a simple 2digit code Hit any button to answer a call Call timers let you keep track of your phone use for billing 2 hours talk time 26 hours standby 6999 Value Compact and discreet with vibrating alert Stores up to 50 numbers Speed dials by name or number Battery lets you talk for a full hour and keeps its charge for up to 10 hours when in Standby mode reg without activa Americas Cellular Retailer FREE Mights Weekends with a one or two year service Youll receive FREE nights and weekends through December 31 1997 when you sign a new twoyear service agreement with the rate plan of your choice except Bell Or if you prefer a oneyear service agreement youll receive FREE 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