Homestead exemptions reduce property taxes by 20% for many homeowners. Homestead property tax exemptions are required by Texas law. Homestead exemptions vary by county, city and school district.
The only requirements for a basic homestead exemption are:
1) Own the house on January 1 of tax year and
2) Home is your primary residence on January 1 of current tax year.
There is no fee for a homestead exemption. The forms are available online and most homestead exemption applications are granted upon filing the application (and including a copy of driver’s license that lists your home address).
The over-65 homestead exemption is available the day you or your spouse turns 65. You do not have to be 65 on January 1 to qualify for over-65 homestead exemption. The over-65 homestead exemption freezes your school property taxes. They will never increase from the base year unless your renovate or expand your house. The over-65 exemption is portable. If you sell your home and move anywhere in Texas, your over-65 homestead exemption can be transferred. The new school taxes are based on the same % of value as for the home you sold. I.e. if the school taxes for home sold were based on 65% of home value, school taxes for new home will be based on 65% of new home value.
The over-65 homestead exemption can generally be retained for a person who moves to a retirement home. The following qualify for 100% property tax exemption for house:
1) Disabled veteran with 100% disability rating for service-related injury,
2) Surviving spouse of 100% disabled veteran who remains in same house,
3) Surviving spouse of first responder killed during service.
Call us at 713-290-9700 for free help with homestead exemption questions. The basics are simple, but homestead exemptions can be complex if your home is flooded or if your home is part of a commercial property (only the portion used for a residence qualifies).