What is a residential homestead exemption? 

A residential homestead exemption removes part of the value from the assessed value of your property and lowers your property taxes.

There are various types of exemptions available:

  • General Residential Homestead

  • Age 65 or Older 

  • Over-55 Surviving Spouse of a Person Who Received an Over 65

  • Disabled Person

  • 100% Disabled Veteran's Homestead and Surviving Spouses

  • Service-Connected Disabled Veteran and Surviving Spouses (not limited to residence homestead) 

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 occupy the home as his or her principal residence on January 1 of the tax year

A homestead is a structure (including a condominium or a manufactured home) that is designed and occupied for use as a residence. A homestead can include up to 20 acres of land, if the land is owned by the homeowner and used for residential purposes.

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, if you own a 50 percent interest in a homestead, you will receive one-half, or $7,500, of a $15,000 homestead offered by a school district.

For a general exemption you should file your exemption application between January 1 and April 30. Early applications will not be accepted. For Over 65 or Disabled Person Exemptions; if you turn 65, become totally disabled or purchase a property during this year, you can apply to activate the Over 65 Exemption or Disabled Person Exemption for this year. You have one year from the date you qualify to apply for the exemptions for the tax year you first qualified. For example; if you turn 65 during the year you have until your 66th birthday to apply to receive the exemption for the tax year in which you turned 65.

Cap value applies to residential homesteads only and it goes into effect the second year after a residential homestead exemption has been granted for your residence. If the property is your residence homestead, the appraised value may not exceed the lesser of the market value of the property or the sum of:

Cap value applies to residential homesteads only. If this property is your residence homestead, the appraised value may 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 the preceding tax year;

  • the appraised value of the property for the preceding year; and 

  • the market value of all new improvements to the property. 

Is it true that once I become 65 years of age, I will not have to pay any more taxes?

No. Only one of you needs to be over 65 years of age to qualify for this exemption. Once this exemption is granted, if the qualifying spouse dies, then the exemption would remain in effect for the remaining spouse if the survivor is 55 years of age or older and has ownership in the home. All tax ceilings remain in effect for as long as the spouse lives in the home. The surviving spouse needs to contact the appraisal district office in order to continue receiving the exemption.

You are eligible for this exemption if you are unable to engage in gainful work because of a physical or mental disability or you are 55 years old and blind and are unable to engage in your previous work because of the blindness. To qualify, you must meet the Social Security definition for disabled. You qualify if you receive disability benefits under the Federal Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Program administered by the Social Security Administration. Disability benefits from any other program do not automatically qualify you. To prove your eligibility, you may need to provide the appraisal district with information on disability ratings from the civil service, retirement programs, or from insurance documents, military records, or a doctor's statement.

No, you may not claim both exemptions in the same tax year.

If you qualify for an Over 65 Exemption or a Disabled Person Exemption for school taxes, the school taxes on that home cannot increase as long as you own and live in that home. The tax ceiling is the amount the owner pays in the year that he or she qualified for whichever exemption was applied for. The school taxes on that home may go below the ceiling, but the school taxes will not be more than the amount of the ceiling. If the homeowner improves the home (other than normal repairs or maintenance), the tax ceiling is adjusted for the new additions. For example, if an owner adds on a garage or game room to the house, the tax ceiling will change.

No. However, the property owner that is receiving the Over 65 Exemption or the Disabled Person Exemption may transfer the "percentage" of their tax ceiling to a different home in the same or another school district anywhere in the State of Texas. The ceiling on the new home would be calculated to give the homeowner the same percentage of tax paid as the ceiling on the original home. For example: If a homeowner currently has a tax ceiling of $100, but would pay $400 without the ceiling, the percentage of tax paid is 25 percent. If the homeowner moves to another home and the taxes on the new homestead would normally be $1,000 in the first year, the new tax ceiling would be $250 or 25 percent of $1,000.

There are two different exemptions available to disabled veterans. There is a partial Disabled Veteran Exemption that is available if you are either a service connected disabled veteran who was disabled while serving with the U.S. armed forces, or the surviving spouse of a service-connected disabled veteran. You must be a Texas resident, must provide documentation from the Veteran's Administration reflecting the percentage of your service-connected disability, and your disability rating must be at least ten percent (10%). There is also a 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption you may qualify for on your resident homestead if you have a service-connected disability rating of 100% or individual unemployability from the Veteran’s Administration and you receive 100% disability compensation from the VA. If you qualify for this exemption, 100% of the value of your residence homestead will be exempted. You may apply for this exemption anytime during the year in which you qualify. The surviving spouse of a 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption may continue this exemption if the deceased veteran qualified for the exemption on the residence in the year they died.

What is the amount of the partial Disabled Veteran's Exemption?

The exemption amount that a qualified disabled veteran receives depends on the veteran's disability rating from the branch of the armed service: 

                                                       Disability Rating Exemption Amount:

                                                 10% to 29% = $5,000 from the property's value

                                                 30% to 49% = $7,500 from the property's value

                                                 50% to 69% = $10,000 from the property's value

                                                 70% to 100% = $12,000 from the property's value

The disabled veteran must be a Texas resident and must choose one property to receive the exemption for all property tax purposes. 

No. To receive a disabled veteran exemption, you must either be a veteran who was disabled while serving with the U.S. armed forces or the surviving spouse or child (under 18 years of age and unmarried) of a disabled veteran or of a member of the armed forces who was killed while on active duty. In order to qualify for a disabled person exemption, you must be unable to engage in gainful work because of physical or mental disability or you are 55 years old and blind and can't engage in your previous work because of your blindness. If you receive disability benefits under the federal Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Program administered by the Social Security Administration, you will qualify for the disabled person exemption.

Your residence homestead is protected from future appraisal value increase in excess of 10% per year from the date of the last appraisal plus the value of any new improvements.