Property tax exemptions come in many forms and vary by county. The one every homeowner in Texas should know about is the homestead exemption. What makes the homestead exemption so special is it gives all Texas homeowners the opportunity to receive an exemption of $25,000. Separate optional exemptions can also be offered by any taxing unit of up to 20% on the value of your primary residence.
Along with the homestead exemption, below is a list of other tax exemption opportunities the state of Texas provides to its property-owning citizens:
- Age 65 or older and disabled exemptions: Individuals age 65 or older or disabled residence homestead owners qualify for a $10,000 homestead exemption for school taxes, in addition to the $25,000 exemption for all homeowners. If the owner qualifies for both the $10,000 exemption for age 65 or older homeowners and the $10,000 exemption for disabled homeowners, the owner must choose one or the other. The owner cannot receive both exemptions.
- Optional age 65 or older or disabled exemptions: Any taxing unit may offer an additional exemption amount of at least $3,000 for taxpayers age 65 or older and/or disabled.
- County taxes: If a county collects a special tax for farm-to-market roads or flood control, a residence homestead is allowed to receive a $3,000 exemption for this tax. If the county grants an optional exemption for homeowners age 65 or older or disabled, the owners will receive only the local-option exemption.
- Optional percentage exemptions: Any taxing unit, including a city, county, school, or special district, may offer an exemption of up to 20 percent of a home’s value. But, no matter what the percentage is, the amount of an optional exemption cannot be less than $5,000. Each taxing unit decides if it will offer the exemption and at what percentage. This percentage exemption is added to any other home exemption for which an owner qualifies. The taxing unit must decide before July 1 of the tax year to offer this exemption.
Be sure to check with your local appraisal district to fully understand what’s available to you. To apply for a homestead exemption, fill out this form and file it at your local appraisal district office.