If you are a Texas resident and own a home in which you reside, there are special exemptions and property tax freezes if you are 65 or older or if you are disabled. You can apply for a $10,000 homestead exemption from your school district taxes (in addition to the $40,000 exemption for all homeowners) as well as a property tax freeze. Both are only mandatory for school district taxes, but some counties, cities, and junior college districts can also offer them. Your tax ceiling for future years will be the amount you pay in the year that you qualify for the tax freeze – even if your property value increases. If your property value decreases, the school district taxes you pay may go below the ceiling amount, but they may never exceed the ceiling. Your tax ceiling will only be raised if you make significant improvements. For example, adding a pool to your home would increase the tax ceiling.
How to Apply
Form 50-114, Residence Homestead Exemption Application, must be completed and sent to your taxing district by April 30th. You must attach a copy of your driver’s license or state-issued personal ID. The address on the ID must match the address of the property you are applying for.
Buying a New Residence
A percentage of the tax ceiling may be transferred if you purchase a new personal residence. For instance, if you have a tax ceiling of $7,500 but would pay $10,000 without the ceiling, the percentage of school district tax you would pay on the new residence would be 75%. For the ceiling to be transferred, request a certificate from the chief appraiser in the appraisal district where you received the tax freeze and present it to the chief appraiser in the appraisal district where the new home is located.
ATKG Can Help
If you think you qualify but are not currently taking advantage of these opportunities, your ATKG advisors are available to help guide you through the process.
Kacey Cavanaugh is a Tax Staff with ATKG. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and recently completed her Master of Accountancy at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She joined the ATKG team as a permanent staff in the Fall of 2021 after completing a successful internship program with us.