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  • Location: New Braunfels, Texas
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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 18, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas 10A □ Herald-Zeitung □ Friday, April 18,1997Exemptions can reduce property Special to the Herald-Zeitung 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 one-time 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 exemption,” Rodgers said. Property owners who have never received exemptions on their homes in which they were living on Jan. I, 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 homeowner’s principal residence and yard are considered the residence homestead. It can include as much as 20 acres of land and improvements (buildings), 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. I; 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 business,” 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 doesn’t claim another homestead exemption elsewhere.’ — 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 doesn’t claim another homestead exemption elsewhere.” Texas law provides several types of homestead exemptions. For school purposes, there is a $5,000 general homestead exemption to all homeowners and an additional $10,000 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 person’s 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 over-65 exemption must apply for the exemption before April 30,” Rodgers stressed. To qualify, the homeowner must be 65 or older on Jan. 1,1997. Counties must offer a $3,000 general homestead exemption on the portion of the county tax levied for farm-to-market roads or flood control. Any taxing unit’s governing body WANT TO KNOW MORE? For more information, homeowners may contact the Comal Appraisal District at 178 E. Mill St., Suite 101, New Braunfels. may grant an additfonal optional exemption on the homesteads of disabled or elderly residents, or both. Taxing units may also offer a local-option homestead exemption based on a percentage of a home’s 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 $5,000. 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 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began a gradual reduction of the Canyon Reservoir release rate Wednesday horn 5,000 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 re-evaluated 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 5,000 cfs, depending on downstream river conditions. As of 8 a.m. Thursday, Canyon Reservoir elevation was 911.78 feet msl and the inflow at Spring Branch was 1,019 cfs. “Area media, elected officials and river outfitters are immediately notified of changes in reservoir releases,” said Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority General Manager Bill West. “The public is advised to always exercise caution any time they are engaged in water recreation activities.” 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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Guadupe-Blanco River AuthorityJ • Fay    FRYMIRE    Hal Fkymire • X    THE WESTERN STARS    X T    APPEARING    AT    7 f    Wagon Wheel Inn    * • ™ u    Sanity Night, April 19    * • Off Hwy. 306, *. *7*. ■ arf    t/w/e.■/to w*/j> a    foul FURNITURE AND ACCESSORIES * (tnmmmcHun    QBggig ggggr) tjt C WROUGHTIRON I displayed at SELECT “MODULAR” HOMES InqulHa* call 629-2946 IH-35 Exit 191 - about 900 yds. toward San Antonio Contemporary Soto by Schnadig *699*2. Sofa by Schnadig has T-cushion attached hack, alternating back pillows and reversible seat cushions, upholstered bun feet. List Price $1199.99 90 648 VT,?"" 'VV mail 18.1 Cu. FL Refrigerator ss?1 $599" whwlprfoi •Wire shelves •factory installed ice-maker *gallon storage door shelf. ET18NKXF List Price $799.99 75-411-0 La-Z-Boy Redlna-Rocker *399*2 Sharp 25” Color TV •Front A/V input terminals •Trilingual deluxe on-screen menu display •Direct access remote control 25JM100 List Price $199.99 70-302-0 Mauve or blue velvet cover. List Price $699 99 85-45-10/11 Emryihhtg Is on Sale! I SHARR $29099 Look tor    Ball Hor Birthday Spacial*! LE. Heavy Duty Washer *399" •6-cycles *3 water level selections • 3-wash/rinse temps. WBSR1060T List Price $499.99 77-200-0 Panel Headboard and Footboard** 499" Sealy Cozy Rest Queen Bedding s299hh Turin, Ea. Pc. ..........$89.09 Full, Sa. Pe. King, 3 Pe. Sot 4139.99 I I I I f I I Great Selection of Quality Bedding! PAYMENTS 'til June '97 •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 poesihle occasional markdowns 'Buy with no money down and make no payments until June (60 days maximum from purchase date). Finance ctiargcs will accrue but will he refunded ti account is paid in full on or before first payment date lf you choose mu to pay off your purchase hy the first payment date, you only have to make the monthly payments shown Subject to credit approval Does not apply to previous putchases. hut new purchases may he consolidated with prior contract (valance Credit offer ends April 29, 1997    __    — ‘ ’iv* flnli    fc    7,    I    77    I    , LACKS NEW BRAUNFELS 971 West San Antonio • 625-7324 • M-F 9-7, Sat. 9-6, Sun. 1-5 Al merchandse s priced tor pick up al OU store (or warehouse) docks Some items may require pat tai assembly Or. if you wish. we wi detour Bid se! up in you home for an additional charge OPEN /.acta ft It ll ,l( 11 V .111 ti 11 M'l ')') .. 11 In (ti I A $30001 Value! A *369" Value! Cellular with all-day battery Dial 20 frequently called numbers by a simple 2-digit code Hit any button to Call timers let you keep answer a track of your phone use for billing. 2 ilk time, 26 hours standby. hours tai #17 1065/1165 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 69 99 (369 99 without activation) #17 1071 f » Americas I Cellular Retailei FREE Nights & Weekends! with a one or two year service agreement* You'll receive FREE nights and weekends through December 31, 1997 when you sign a new two-year service agreement with the rate plan of your choice (except Bell 5). Or, if you prefer a one-year service agreement, you'll receive FREE nights and weekends through September 1, 1997. A $45 activation fee will be charged for all activations. Hurry! Offer Ends Soon! ♦Advertised price requires a new activation and i required like your home phone, a monthly serve* I completion of your minimum service commitment, * must return the cellular phone Prices apply at participating RadtoShack stores and dealers independent RadioShack dealers and franchisees may not be participating in this ad or stock or special-ordei every item advertised- Authorized Wireless Retailer •Ofter good for a limited time only on selected rate plans. Offer requires new activation with a two-yeai c ommitment. One-reai commitment also available Ciedit check with possible deposit required Normal toll, fees, taxes and otner restrictions apply. Product may vary by location. RadioShack. You've got questions. We've got answers.9I H6»7ii.i arn Mi* ;