By Alicia Lacy
Killeen Daily Herald
Coryell County's tax roll is certified.
The Coryell Central Appraisal District determined the total market value of homes House Bill 3613 applies to totals $36,427,429.
CCAD Chief Appraiser Mitch Fast said there are 398 residents in the county who qualify for the recent amendment to the tax code, which gives veterans living with service-related physical or mental disabilities who receive 100 percent disability compensation total homestead property tax exemptions.
Because many of those who are eligible for the 100 percent exemption already have exemptions applied to their taxes, Fast said the impact of the exemption is still questionable.
According to the 2008 tax roll, the levy amount for the properties that qualify for the exemption in the county totals $116,597. For Copperas Cove, the amount was $145,807, and for the Copperas Cove Independent School District, the amount was $188,934.
Though the tax roll was updated due to the bill, much of the impact the exemption will have on the budgets and revenues of the entities is unknown as county and city officials are immersed in next year's budget preparations.
In an earlier interview, Coryell County Judge John Firth said he likes the new bill.
"I welcome the opportunity to support the disabled veterans. Although it's small, I think it's appropriate to give tax advantages to disabled vets."
Firth believes the bill will make a difference for the county, estimating about $100,000 in lost revenue.
Firth said the county is in the process of exploring other options to help offset the expected change.
Copperas Cove City Manager Andrea Gardner said in an earlier interview that the loss of property tax revenue and the impact the bill will have on next year's city budget is unknown.
While other states offer some kind of exemption for disabled veterans, the total exemption offered by HB 3613 could bring more people to the area, especially with veterans hospitals in Temple and Waco.
"The possibility exists for an increase in population if Texas is the only state offering such an exemption," Gardner said.
"We won't see a decrease in population," Firth said. "We're prepared to expect that as disable veterans see that Texas doesn't have a state income tax and no property taxes for them."
Contact Alicia Lacy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7476.