Property Taxes

Residence Homestead Tax Exemption…and others

CLICK HERE Info on How To File For Homestead Tax Exemption + Other Exemptions

First… What is A Homestead?

A homestead is a person’s or family’s primary residence, in which the person’s or family resides in and not considered a second home. A second home is a rental/investment property or a vacation home but not the primary residence.

A homestead can be a separate structure, condominium or a manufactured home located on owned or leased land, as long as the individual living in the home owns it. A homestead can include up to 20 acres if the land is owned by the homeowner and used for a purpose related to the residential use of the homestead.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it cost to file for a homestead exemption? 

No it is FREE. You may receive some very official looking mail after you have closed on a home saying they will file for you – for a FEE, however it is very easy for the homeowner to file and it is FREE.

Do I, as a homeowner, get a tax break from property taxes?

You may apply for homestead exemptions on your principal residence. Homestead exemptions remove part of your home’s value from taxation, so they lower your taxes.

For example, your home is appraised at $100,000, and you qualify for a $15,000 exemption (this is the amount mandated for school districts), you will pay school taxes on the home as if it was worth only $85,000. Taxing units have the option to offer a separate exemption of up to 20 percent of the total value.

Do all homes qualify for homestead exemptions?

No, only a homeowner’s principal residence qualifies. To qualify, a home must meet the definition of a residence homestead: The home’s owner must be an individual (for example not a corporation or other business entity) and use the home as his or her principal residence on January 1 of the tax year. If you are age 65 or older, or disabled, the January 1 ownership and residency are not required for the age 65 or disabled homestead exemption.

What homestead exemptions are available?

There are several types of exemptions you may receive.

School taxes: All residence homestead owners are allowed a $15,000 homestead exemption from their home’s value for school taxes.

County taxes: If a county collects a special tax for farm-to-market roads or flood control, a residence homestead is allowed to receive a $3,000 exemption for this tax. If the county grants an optional exemption for homeowners age 65 or older or disabled, the owners will receive only the local-option exemption.

Age 65 or older and disabled exemptions: Individuals age 65 or older or disabled residence homestead owners qualify for a $10,000 homestead exemption for school taxes, in addition to the $15,000 exemption for all homeowners. If the owner qualifies for both the $10,000 exemption for age 65 or older homeowners and the $10,000 exemption for disabled homeowners, the owner must choose one or the other for school taxes. The owner cannot receive both exemptions.

Optional percentage exemptions: Any taxing unit, including a city, county, school, or special district, may offer an exemption of up to 20 percent of a home’s value. But, no matter what the percentage is, the amount of an optional exemption cannot be less than $5,000. Each taxing unit decides if it will offer the exemption and at what percentage. This percentage exemption is added to any other home exemption for which an owner qualifies. The taxing unit must decide before July 1 of the tax year to offer this exemption.

Optional age 65 or older or disabled exemptions: Any taxing unit may offer an additional exemption amount of at least $3,000 for taxpayers age 65 or older and/or disabled.

How do I get a general $15,000 homestead exemption?

You may file an Application for Residential Homestead Exemption with your appraisal district for the $15,000 homestead exemption up to one year after the taxes on the homestead are due. Once you receive the exemption, you do not need to reapply unless the chief appraiser sends you a new application. In that case, you must file the new application. 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 is the deadline for filing for a homestead exemption?

APPLICATION DEADLINES: You must file the completed application with all required documentation beginning Jan. 1 and no later than April 30 of the year for which you are requesting an exemption. If you qualify for the age 65 or older or disabled persons exemption, you must apply for the exemption no later than the first anniversary of the date you qualify for the exemption.

May I continue to receive the residence homestead exemption on my home if I move away temporarily?

If you temporarily move away from your home, you may continue to receive the exemption if you do not establish a principal residence elsewhere, you intend to return to the home, and you are away less than two years. You may continue to receive the exemption if you do not occupy the residence for more than two years only if you are in military service serving outside of the United States or live in a facility providing services related to health, infirmity or aging.

If I own only 50 percent of the home I live in, do I qualify for the residence homestead exemption on the home?

Yes. However, if you qualify for a homestead exemption and are not the sole owner of the property to which the homestead exemption applies, the exemption you receive is based on the interest you own. For example, you own a 50 percent interest in a homestead and will receive one half, or $7,500, of a $15,000 homestead offered by a school district.


Many homeowners protest and appeal their appraised home values yearly. Find out more here.


Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

AGAIN?…Our Property Tax Statements Just Arrived!


As you may know, the property tax statements are just being delivered to homeowners! 


Lets’ Put Up Our Dooks! 

Our PROPERTY TAX bill arrived yesterday from Denton County Appraisal District, and we are NOT happy! So, you may be getting the same news. Values are up, the appraisal districts know it, so they are going to push the limits. BUT, we can help you. Each year, our clients know that we can help them fight their property taxes (don’t pay those people in the mail when we can provide you the information so you can do it for free).

Many of you call us each year, and we know you have success with getting your taxes lowered. So, CALL us or simply fill out the form below. We are ready to help you, AND we will provide some helpful information when you, your family and friends decide to protest your property taxes….the window of time to protest is short…don’t delay! 

For those of you that think its great to see their property value is going up …. it is…but you will pay the price-property tax price! With the home values climbing and if you are planning to stay in your home a while, you should consider protesting your property taxes. We can help! Let us know by clicking on the form below if you need our help!

We can provide a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that may help you if you decide to appeal your property taxes – we can not guarantee the appraisal district will grant a change in their appraisal and there could also be a chance they may increase the amount assessed.

Click here and FILL OUT THIS FORM 

Our goal is to bring you info to help because we have a heart of a teacher, one to educate so you make good decisions in your real estate endeavors.


How to Protest:


Video of How to Present Your Case

Texans Pay Some of the Highest Property Taxes in the Country

Property Taxes Without the Headache? Absolutely.  These services charge a fee for a report you can use to appeal your property taxes. See article.

2018 Dallas News Article

Tax Code Section 23.23(a) sets a limit on the amount of annual increase to the appraised value of a residence homestead to not exceed the lesser of:

  • the market value of the property; or
  • the sum of:
    • 10 percent of the appraised value of the property for last year;
    • the appraised value of the property for last year; and
    • the market value of all new improvements to the property.

Tax Code Section 23.23(e) defines a new improvement as an improvement to a residence homestead made after the most recent appraisal of the property that increases its market value and was not included in the appraised value of the property for the preceding tax year. It does not include repairs to or ordinary maintenance of an existing structure, the grounds or another feature of the property. Tax Code Section 23.23(f) states that a replacement structure for one that was rendered uninhabitable or unusable by a casualty or by wind or water damage is also not considered a new improvement.

Property Taxes …Do You Fight Them?

1-21-15 Flag-Backgroud-Piggy

Are you shocked this year? You have probably received your 2015 Notice of Appraised Value by now. Looks like everyones taxes are going up..up..up! Dave Lieber stated “I’m stumped that only about 5 out of every 100 eligible homeowners use the new tool of protesting property taxes online at an appraisal district’s website. It’s easy, saves time and feels like gambling, for those who like that.”

Don’t forget that you can protest your taxes. Deadline is June 1, 2015. Your residence homestead is protected from appraisal value increases in excess of 10% per year from the date of the last appraisal PLUS the value of any new improvements.

Here is a calculator that may help you determine the % CHANGE.


Read the Dave Liebers’ guide at Dallas Morning News

Dave Liebers Watchdog: My guide to protesting your property tax

He says become a “lion”.  We say become a “shark”! Don’t get eaten up by property taxes and you can’t win if you don’t try.


If we can be of any help please let us know.


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Ask for: Joi or Guy McKinney, REALTORS® at 214-699-6788