Texas Homestead Exemption
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts oversees Sales & Use tax, Franchise tax, and Property tax. Go to the Property Tax page to get full details on your rights and responsibilities as a property owner. Here’s a primer on Property Tax Basics.
The Texas Legislature does not set the amount of your local taxes. Your property tax burden is decided by your locally elected officials, and all inquiries concerning your taxes should be directed to those officials. This is an excellent reason to register to vote and to participate in all local elections!
Property taxes are local taxes that provide the largest source of money local governments use to pay for schools, streets, roads, police, fire protection and many other services. Each Texas county is served by an appraisal district that determines the value of all of the county’s taxable property. The value of property is an estimate of the price for which it would sell on Jan. 1. The appraisal district compares your property to similar properties that have sold recently and determines its value. Once your property has been appraised, you’ll receive a notice of the official appraised value – usually by mail.
Your most important right as a taxpayer is your right to protest to the appraisal review board (ARB). You may protest if you disagree with any of the appraisal district’s actions concerning your property. Learn More.
The Homestead Exemption is a type of property tax relief. An exemption removes part of the value of property from taxation and lowers your tax bill. For example, if your home is valued at $150,000 and you qualify for a $15,000 exemption, you pay taxes on the home as if it were worth $135,000. Homestead Exemption FAQ
To qualify for a homestead exemption, you must own and occupy the home as your principal residence on Jan. 1. Generally, the exemption is applicable as of Jan. 1 of the tax year in which it was approved. It can be a separate structure, condominium or a manufactured home located on leased land, as long as you own the home itself. A homestead includes the house and the land used as a residence, not to exceed 20 acres. You may not receive a homestead exemption for more than one property in the same year.
On September 1, 2011, a New Law took effect. This new law does not apply to homeowners who already have the homestead exemptions. If you apply for a new property tax homestead exemption in Texas, you must send two documents of proof you live in the house you claim as your principal residence. The first document is a copy of your Texas Drivers License or Texas ID card. The second document needed is a copy of your vehicle registration receipt. Those copies must be sent with the homestead application and the address on those documents must match the address for which the homestead exemption is requested.
If you don’t own a vehicle, a current utility bill showing your name and address, along with an affidavit provided in the application indicating non-ownership of a vehicle will be accepted. The address on the utility bill must be the same as the address on the application.
If you are applying for a new exemption for your manufactured or mobile home, you also must provide proof of purchase of the home and a statement of ownership and location issued by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.
Types of Exemptions – (In depth explanations of property tax and exemptions available at the Comptroller’s website – Learn More):
- General homestead exemption
- Over-65 exemption – includes a tax freeze freeze or ceiling transferable to surviving spouse
- Disability exemption – if you are over 65 and disabled, you must choose only one
- 100% Disabled Veteran exemption – transferable to surviving spouse
- 10% or more Disabled Veteran exemption – different exemption rates for 10, 30, 50 and 70+%
- Extension of exemption for a surviving spouse – over 55 or spouse of disabled veteran
- Manufactured or mobile home exemption
- Agricultural exemption
NOTE: If you are Disabled, there are extra tax exemptions available to you. Please check out State Tax Exemptions for People with Disabilities.