As we are settling into the new year, there are a few things that you may need to do as a new homeowner. One of these things is to remember to file your Homestead Exemption! If you purchased and moved into a new home last year, you will need to file with your county’s Appraisal District in order to take advantage of the Homestead Exemption on your property tax bill this year.
What is a Homestead Exemption and how do you qualify for one? Property taxes in Texas are assessed and administered locally and this provides local government with needed money to pay for schools, roads, police, firemen, parks and more. The Tax Code requires school districts to offer a $25,000 exemption on residence homesteads and allows any taxing unit the option to decide locally to offer a separate residence homestead exemption up to 20% of the appraised value. This means if your home was assessed at $100,000 with the homestead exemption, the school district would only tax you on $75,000 value, saving you money in property tax. Here’s how you qualify and apply:
You must be the owner of the property as of January 1st
You must occupy the residence as your principal residence as of January 1st
Complete the application for Homestead Exemption (can be found on your appraisal district’s website!) Applications are accepted January 1 thru April 30.
You will need to provide your Texas Driver’s License or ID Card with address updated to match your homestead address. This is required! You can update your address online at: https://txapps.texas.gov/tolapp/txdl/ or if you need to go in person, DPS locations are open by appointment only, so be sure to plan ahead and make your appointment early!
Completing your application for Homestead Exemption is FREE and easy to do yourself. Save money this year on your property tax bill by filing with your county appraisal district, see our quick links below!