Texas Homestead Tax Break
If the financial burden of buying a home has you running scared, you may want to double check the numbers...especially if you live in Texas. As rent prices continue to rise across the nation, buying a home in San Antonio has become the most affordable option for many residents.
This is partially due to Texas' “Homestead Exemption,” a program that lets homeowners catch a serious break on their property taxes – simply for owning a home!
Here’s How It Works:
- If your property qualifies as a homestead (meaning it’s your primary residence), you get at least a $25,000 exemption on your property taxes. And, depending on where you live, you may be eligible for other exemptions as well. (See below)
- Take the appraised value of your home (say your appraiser deemed it worth $200,000), then subtract your exemption. In our example, that means your home has a value of $175,000, pre-tax.
- When it comes time to pay property taxes, you pay taxes only on that $175,000 value – not the full $200K.
While this may only save you a few hundred dollars annually, these savings add up to a significant amount just within a few years.
Other exemptions include:
- $3,000 for county taxes – If your county collects special taxes (like those for FM roads, flood control, or other protective measures), you can also deduct $3,000 from your home’s value before taxes.
- $10,000 for seniors and disabled persons – If you are 65 or older or suffer a disability, you can deduct $10,000 from your home’s pre-tax value.
- Varied amounts from other taxing units – City, county, schools or special districts in your area can also offer individual exemptions of up to 20 percent. You’ll want to check with the city and county to verify any special exemptions your home may qualify for. These districts can also offer additional exemptions for senior citizen and disabled persons.
To qualify for a homestead exemption, you must:
- Have owned your property on Jan. 1 of the current year
- Occupy the property as your primary residence
- Have not claimed a homestead exemption on any other property
To file for a Homestead Exemption, you must fill out the documents as provided by the appraisal district in your county of residence. Be sure to include a copy of your driver’s license or legal ID card and apply between Jan. 1 and April 30 of the current year.