Property Tax Exemptions for Homeowners
A homestead exemption helps you save on taxes on your home. An exemption removes part of the value of your property from taxation and lowers your taxes. For example, if your home is valued at $100,000 and you qualify for a $20,000 exemption, you pay taxes on your home as if it was worth only $80,000.
What Kinds of Homestead Exemptions Are Available?
- School taxes — all homeowners. If you qualify for the homestead exemption, you will receive at least a $15,000 homestead exemption on the value of your home for school district taxes.
- County taxes — all homeowners. Harris County currently provides a 20% optional homestead exemption to all homeowners. This means, for example, that if your home is valued at $100,000, the exemption will reduce its taxable value for Harris County taxes by $20,000 to $80,000.
- Optional exemptions — all homeowners. Any taxing unit, including a school district, city, county or special district, may offer an exemption for up to 20% of your home’s value. The amount of an optional exemption can’t be less than $5,000, no matter what the percentage is. For example, if your home is valued at $20,000 and your city offers a 20% optional exemption, your exemption is $5,000, even though 20% of $20,000 is just $4,000.The governing body of each taxing unit decides whether it will offer the exemption and at what percentage. This percentage exemption is added to any other homestead exemption for which the applicant qualifies.
You should file your regular residential homestead exemption application between January 1 and April 30. Early applications will not be accepted. If your application is postmarked by April 30, this will allow the district time to process it before your tax statement comes out in the fall. If you miss the April 30th deadline you can still apply:
For a general exemption: up to one year after the date taxes became delinquent for the year (usually February 1 of the year following the tax year).
For an over-65 or disabled person: if you turn 65, become totally disabled, or acquire a property during the year, you can apply and have the over-65 or disability exemption activated for that year. The deadline to apply for an over-65 or disabled person’s exemption for the year in which you qualify is the first anniversary of the date you qualify. In other words, you have one year from the date you qualify to apply. For example:
- If you are already qualified and you purchase a different home, you have one year from the date you occupy the new home to apply.
- If you turn 65 during the year, you have until your 66th birthday to apply for the year in which you turn 65.
- If you become disabled during the year, you have one year from the date you became disabled to apply.
Otherwise, the deadline for applying for the over-65 or disability exemption is the same as the deadline given above.
For more information regarding Harris County Homestead Exemptions – Visit HCAD