QUESTION: If the taxes of seniors are supposed to be frozen, why do my taxes keep going up?
ANSWER: This is difficult to answer without knowing all the specifics of your situation, so I’m going to review generally how the property tax ceiling works.
By law, if you apply for a residence homestead exemption for people age 65 or older for school district taxes, those taxes cannot increase as long as you own and live in that home.
The “ceiling” or maximum you pay is set at the amount you pay the year you qualify for that exemption, with this exception: The tax ceiling may increase if you make improvements to your home beyond normal repairs — if you add a room, for instance. (Also remember you have to apply for your 65 and older exemption. It doesn’t just happen on its own.)
School districts are the only taxing entities required to provide the ceiling, but some other entities — cities, counties and junior college districts — may choose to do so. (Voters also can force the issue.) For instance, the city of Longview has adopted the freeze, but, according to the Gregg Appraisal District’s website, no other city in Gregg County has. Gregg County also has adopted the ceiling, but Kilgore College has not. Keep in mind, though, that the ceiling does not apply to special taxing districts, such as emergency service districts or hospital districts.
So, if you don’t see a description here that might explain your specific situation, I encourage you to contact your county’s tax assessor-collector to make sure everything’s as it should be on your tax bill. (That was the advice I received from Gregg County Tax Assessor-Collector Kirk Shields.)
Q: Who is Anissa Centers on KLTV married to and where does he work?
A: The KLTV anchor is married to her high school sweetheart, Reggie Centers. Correction, she told me she’s married to her “wonderful high school sweetheart.” Answer Line loves a good love story, so it makes my heart happy to hear someone talk about her spouse like that.
“He’s amazing!” Centers told me in a Facebook message.
He works at Tower Honda in Longview, and he comes with her highest recommendation.