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There are 26 new laws to pay attention to in 2018, but if you’re concerned about your property taxes in the Killeen area, there are several laws that went into effect Jan. 1 that could have an impact on your bill when tax time comes around.

Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway authored a bill that says if a chief appraiser and property owner don’t agree on the correction of a property tax amount in 15 days time, the property owner is entitled, on request, to a hearing with the review board.

The owner must describe the complaint in detail, and is now entitled to elect someone to present the owner’s evidence and argument during the hearing. Additionally, the board may not determine the final property appraisal total to be more than the amount originally determined, unless agreed to by both parties.

Additionally, House Bill 1101 states that veterans who are 100 percent disabled, and claim that property tax exemption no longer have to fill out a new application year after year to confirm his or her current qualification. This exemption applies to the property until it either changes ownership or the person’s qualifications change.

Senate Bill 1047 allows people who qualify for property tax exemptions — such as disabled veterans, disabled residents above the age of 65 and unmarried surviving spouses of a disabled veteran — to pay property taxes in four equal installments without interest or penalties, so long as the first installment is paid before the delinquency date.

Senate Bill 1345 allows charitable organizations to be exempt from paying property taxes. There’s a long list of charities that are included, including groups providing religious services, medical care, athletic services for individuals under the age of 18 and care for the elderly.

House Bill 2358 confirms who is and who’s not is a qualified voter. A developer of property in the district is not considered a voter, nor is a person related “within the third degree” of a developer or an employee of a developer in the area. A resident must also have lived in the district for more than 30 days before being eligible to vote.

The bill makes it illegal for someone to receive money from a developer in the district in exchange for a vote.

A new voter identification law went into effect Jan. 1 and was supposed to ease up on state requirements. The secretary of state will establish a program using mobile units to help voters prove their voter status. Now, an election officer may not refuse to accept documentation presented to meet the requirements solely because the address on the documentation does not match the address on the list of registered voters.

If voters make false statements, it is an offense punishable as a state jail felony.

It should be a bit easier to transfer documentation of a car title to another owner in 2018. Senate Bill 1062 allows the electronic signature of an odometer disclosure statement.

There might be a little longer of a line at the grocery store from now on though, as Senate Bill 1381 requires an identification card to be presented at the time of checkout if a credit or debit card is used.

A merchant is allowed to deny payment if identification is not presented, and this does not apply to purchases made with a mobile wallet, such as Apple Pay or Android Pay.

254-501-7552 | sullivan@kdhnews.com

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