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File For Your Homestead Exemption
An exemption removes part of the value of your property from taxation and thus lowers your tax bill. For example, if your home is valued at $200,000 and you qualify for a $15,000 exemption, you pay taxes on your home as if it were worth only $185,000. Several opportunities exist to reduce your property tax through exemptions. Below are a few:
To qualify for a general homestead exemption, you must own your home on January 1.
If you have more than one house, you can receive exemptions only for your main or principal residence. You must live in this home on January 1. A person may not receive a homestead exemption for more than one residence homestead in the same year.
Note: Texas has two distinct laws for designating a homestead. The Texas Tax Code offers homeowners a way to apply for homestead exemptions to reduce local property taxes. The Texas Property Code allows homeowners to designate their homesteads to protect them from a forced sale to satisfy creditors. This law doesn’t, however, protect homeowners from tax foreclosure sales of their homes for delinquent taxes.
There are several types of Homestead exemptions available:
School taxes: All residence homestead owners may receive a $15,000 homestead exemption from their home's value for school taxes.
County taxes: If a county collects a special tax for farm-to-market roads or flood control, a residence homestead owner may receive a $3,000 exemption for this tax.
Senior Exemption - Over 65
Over-65 homestead owners may qualify for a $10,000 homestead exemption for school taxes, in addition to the $15,000 exemption for all homeowners. In addition to the $10,000 exemption for school taxes, any taxing unit—including a school district—can offer an additional exemption of at least $3,000 for taxpayers aged 65 or older.
When you receive an over-65 homestead exemption, you also receive a “tax ceiling” for your total school taxes; that is, the school taxes on your home cannot increase as long as you own and live in that home. The tax ceiling is set at the amount you pay in the year that you qualify for the over-65 homeowner exemption. The school taxes on your home subsequently may fall below the ceiling, but cannot rise above it.
If you purchase another home anywhere in Texas, you may transfer the percentage of school tax paid based on your former home’s over-65 school tax ceiling to your new home.
If disabled, you will qualify for a $10,000 exemption for school taxes similar to the Senior exemption above in addition to the $15,000 homestead exemption granted to homeowners. In addition, any taxing unit may offer an exemption of at least $3,000 off of home value to homeowners with disabilities. Disabled homeowners will also have a tax ceiling on their school taxes similar to that provided to over-65 homeowners. If the owner qualifies for both the $10,000 for over-65 homeowners and the $10,000 exemption for disabled homeowners, the owner must choose one or the other for school taxes. The owner cannot receive both exemptions.
To APPLY for Homestead Exemption click the below link for the county your home is located in:
Williamson County: http://www.wcad.org/property-owners/forms
Hays County: http://www.hayscad.com/PA/forms/homestead.pdf
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask!