Property Tax Exemptions
Great news for procrastinators! The Texas legislature passed a law this summer extending the deadline to file certain exemptions.
Homestead/Over 65: The deadline has been extended to two years after the delinquency date of the taxes for that year. For example, you have until January 31, 2018 to file for the 2015 tax year.
Disabled Veteran: The deadline has been extended to five years after the delinquency date of taxes for that year. For example, you have until January 31, 2018 to file for the 2012 tax year.
Below is a list of exemptions that we deal with most often. A complete list can be found on the Texas State Comptroller Website here.
You are eligible to claim a Homestead Exemption on your primary residence as long as you are: 1) living there as of January 1st of that year and 2) List that address on your driver’s license. This exemption gives you discounts on many taxing jurisdictions that lower the taxable value of your home. It also puts a 10% limit on how much the taxable value of your home can increase from one tax year to the next.
Example: Your property had a homestead exemption in 2015 and was valued at $100,000. In 2016, the market value jumped up to $200,000 – you would only be taxed on a 10% increase from 2015 or $110,0000 ($100,000 + 10% = $110,000). This is an extremely valuable exemption in our booming market.
The deadline to file for the Homestead Exemption is one year after taxes became delinquent for that tax year. For example, the deadline to file an exemption for the 2015 tax year is January 31st, 2017 (one year after the deadline to pay your 2015 tax bill).
You are eligible to claim an Over 65 Exemption on your homestead the year that you turn 65. The Over 65 exemption entitles you to bigger discounts from taxing entities than a normal Homestead exemption. It also puts a tax ceiling on the dollar amount that you pay to your local school district. The freeze amount will remain, unless additional “value” is added to your property.
For example, if you turned 65 in 2015 and paid Austin ISD $5,000.00 you would never pay more than that dollar amount to Austin ISD. Your tax freeze also stays with you as long as you move somewhere in the state of Texas.
The Over 65 Exemption also allows you to defer paying property taxes for as long as you own the property. You will still accrue 8% interest each year which will be collected once the property has sold or transfers ownership.
The benefits of this exemption are similar to the Over 65 exemption including bigger discounts from certain taxing entities and a tax ceiling on the school district jurisdiction. You must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability in order to qualify.
Veterans of the US Armed Forces qualify for a Disabled Veteran exemption if they have a disability rating of 10% or more. The discounts vary depending on your disability rating.
Solar and Wind-Powered Energy Devices
If you have solar or window-powered energy devices on your property, please contact our office about this exemption. You are eligible to claim the exemption if you have solar or wind-powered devices on your property but in some cases the exemption will not benefit you. The exemption removes the value of the device(s) from the taxable value of your property. This application is due by April 30th but will remain in effect on your property unless there are any changes to the equipment.
Historical or Archaeological Sites
If your property is a designated historic building or archaeological site or has historical significance, you may be eligible for the Historical Exemption. This gives discounts for the jurisdictions that choose to grant the exemption and the discounts are different for every property. Contact our office for more information or refer to the Comptroller regulations here.