A new homestead property tax exemption will be offered to the surviving spouses of Veterans in Texas in 2012.

The full homestead property tax exemption available to totally disabled military veterans, originally enacted in 2009, will be available to the surviving spouses of eligible veterans after January 1st.

The exemption is for the total appraised value of the residential homestead, if the veteran received 100 percent disability rating or was deemed unemployable by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Around 35,300 veterans in the state currently receive the exemption.

Under Senate Bill 516, the total homestead exemption is available to the surviving spouse of the disabled veteran if they do not remarry, and the property continues to be the homestead. This measure passed handily during the Texas Constitutional Amendment election on November 8th.

“This new provision will help families who have been a part of the tremendous sacrifice that veterans have given our country,” said Texas Comptroller Susan Combs.

The surviving spouse will have to apply for the exemption through their county’s appraisal district. The application form is available here.