What is a Homestead Exemption?
Property tax brings in the most money of all taxes available to local government to pay for schools, roads, police and firemen, emergency response services, libraries, parks and other services provided by local government. Homestead exemptions reduce property taxes for all homeowners by sheltering a certain amount of a home’s value from taxation.
Homestead exemptions are granted by the county appraisal district where the property is located. The exemption reduces a homeowner’s property tax bill by removing part of the home's value from taxation. All Texas homeowners may receive a General Residence Homestead Exemption of $25,000 on the value of their property for school taxes. Other taxing entities may also offer exemptions of some percentage of the home’s value. Other exemptions are available to homeowners who are over 65 or disabled and require the same application process.
These requirements must be met to receive the exemption:
1. You must own your home on January 1st of the year for which you are applying. (If you are over 65 and/or disabled, January 1st ownership and residency are not required.)
2. You must reside at the home as your principal residence on January 1st of that year, and not claim any other property as homestead.
3. Only individual homeowners (not corporations or other entities) may receive a homestead exemption.
4. A homestead can be a house, condominium or a manufactured home. It can include up to 20 acres if the land is also owned by the homeowner and used as a yard, or for another purpose related to the residential use of the home.
5. You must apply between January 1st and April 30th of the year for which you want the exemption. The link to the website where you can attain the form is listed below.
How do homeowners apply?
1. Complete the APPLICATION FOR RESIDENTIAL HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION (available on the websites of most county appraisal districts, or at the Texas Comptroller’s website.
Follow this link : https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/exemptions/index.php
Click on the Residence Homestead link located toward the bottom of the page. An "Additional Resources" box will appear with FAQs and a link directly to the correct documents. You can then fill out the application online, print it and send it to the county appraisers office.
2. Include a copy of your DRIVER’S LICENSE or IDENTIFICATION CARD from the Texas Department of Public Safety at www.txdps.state.tx.us. The address MUST MATCH the homestead address.
You must furnish all information and documentation required by this application so that the chief appraiser is able to determine whether the statutory qualifications for the exemption have been met. This document and all supporting documentation must be filed with the appraisal district office in each county in which the property is located. Do not file this document with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. A directory with contact information for appraisal district offices may be found on the Comptroller’s website.
Here is a video with more information: https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/video/exemptions/presentation_html5.html