Northeast Tarrant

Haltom City mayoral candidate has homestead exemption on property that’s not his home

pmoseley@star-telegram.com

This story has been updated to correct the owner of the property at 6217 Mdway Road.

Mayoral candidate Trae Fowler has a homestead exemption for a property that is not his primary residence, according to election documents and Tarrant Appraisal District records.

In paperwork he filed to run for mayor, Fowler listed his permanent residence as 6217 Midway Road. But he has a homestead exemption for a property he owns at 3220 Jane Lane.

The Midway Road property is owned by Midway Business Properties LP, according to Appraisal District records. Mais is Fowler’s wife.

Councilman Walter Grow, who is seeking re-election, said the situation is problematic.

“My concern about him running for office is all of the baggage that he has,” Grow said. “He is claiming a homestead exemption for a place where he does not live.”

When asked about the homestead exemption, Fowler said he is applying for the homestead exemption at the Midway Road address. The Midway Road location is listed as a commercial property, according to the Tarrant Appraisal District web site.

“It’s the appraisal district’s problem,” Fowler said. “I didn’t re-apply for a homestead exemption on Jane Lane. I pay all of my taxes on time, and we’ve got people worried about this when we have far more important issues like problems with our water system.”

A Star-Telegram article from Feb. 27, 2004, described how Fowler owed over $2,000 in back taxes after he claimed two homestead exemptions on side-by-side properties on Jane Lane which he had since 1996.

Last spring, City Manager Keith Lane filed a complaint with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office alleging that Fowler and other council members violated the Open Meetings Act by discussing matters that were not listed on the agenda in executive session. Information on the status of that complaint was unavailable.

Filing ended at 5 p.m. Friday in city and school board races.

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With my guide dog Barbara, I keep tabs on growth, economic development and other issues in Northeast Tarrant cities and other communities near Fort Worth. I’ve been a reporter at the Star-Telegram for 34 years.

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