HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION FAQS
It’s that time of year when you start receiving marketing info regarding your homestead exemption: people/companies offering to do this for you--for a charge, of course. DON’T FALL FOR IT! You can do this on your own, easily and for free! The following are typical questions I receive from homeowners regarding their exemption. The answers come straight from the Texas Comptroller’s Office and the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University:
What is a homestead?
A homestead can be a separate structure, condominium or manufactured home and can include up to 20 acres.
What is a homestead exemption?
Homestead exemptions remove part of your home's value from taxation, thereby lowering your taxes. In the majority of Texas school districts, residence homesteads are allowed an exemption of $25,000 of the home's value for school taxes. Homestead owners who are 65 or older or disabled qualify for an additional $10,000 exemption. However, homeowners who are 65 or older and disabled cannot receive both exemptions.
Additionally, Cedar Park just announced its adoption of an exemption of up to 20 percent of the homestead's value, but the exemption must be at least $5,000. The City portion of the homestead exemption of your property taxes will be automatically deducted through the Appraisal District if you claimed your home as your homestead when filling out your paperwork with the Appraisal District. If you didn’t, then you’ll need to apply.
For example, your home is appraised at $100,000, and you qualify for a $25,000 exemption (this is the amount mandated for school districts). Cedar Park will additionally provide a tax exemption of $5000 (20 percent of the value, so you will pay school taxes on the home as if it was worth only $70,000).
How do I get a homestead exemption?
You may file an Application for Residential Homestead Exemption (PDF) with your appraisal district. If you should move or your qualification ends, you must inform the appraisal district in writing before the next May 1st. A list of appraisal district addresses and phone numbers is available online.
What types of homestead exemptions are there?
There are three basic types of exemptions. Most homeowners will not qualify for them all: (1) Residence Homestead, (2) Age 65 or Older or Disabled Persons and (3) Veterans.
How do I know if I qualify for the Residence Homestead?
If the homeowner has an ownership interest in the property and uses the property as the owner’s principal residence they qualify for a residence. An applicant is required to state that he or she does not claim an exemption on another residence homestead in or outside of Texas.
I’m available to help or answer any questions for my neighbors. You can reach me at 512-791-6918 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Texas A&M University - Homestead Protection: For Whom and How Much?
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts - https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/exemptions/residence-faq.php