If you purchased a home in Texas in 2018, you should look into applying for your Homestead Exemption between January 1 and April 30, 2019. A Homestead Exemption reduces your taxable value and limits annual raises in value. Filing is free and you only have to do it once.
What is a Homestead Exemption?
Homestead exemptions are granted by the county appraisal district where the property is located. The exemption reduces a homeowner’s property tax bill by removing part of the home's value from taxation. All Texas homeowners may receive a General Residence Homestead Exemption of $25,000 on the value of their property for school taxes. Other taxing entities may also offer exemptions of some percentage of the home’s value. Other exemptions are available to homeowners who are over 65 or disabled, and require the same application process.
These requirements must be met to receive the exemption:
1. You must own your home on January 1st of the year for which you are applying. (If you are over 65 and/or disabled, January 1st ownership and residency are not required.)
2. You must reside at the home as your principal residence on January 1st of that year, and not claim any other property as homestead.
3. Only individual homeowners (not corporations or other entities) may receive a homestead exemption.
4. A homestead can be a house, condominium or a manufactured home. It can include up to 20 acres, if the land is also owned by the homeowner and used as a yard, or for another purpose related to the residential use of the home.
5. You must apply between January 1st and April 30th of the year for which you want the exemption.
How do homeowners apply?
1. Complete the APPLICATION FOR RESIDENTIAL HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/exemptions/index.php
2. Include a copy of your DRIVER’S LICENSE or IDENTIFICATION CARD from the Texas Department of Public Safety at www.txdps.state.tx.us. The address MUST MATCH the homestead address.
For more information, contact your local county appraisal district office, or visit http://comptroller.texas.gov/taxinfo/proptax/exemptions.html
Travis County: https://www.traviscad.org/eservices/
Williamson County: https://www.wcad.org/online-exemption-information/