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Texas Homestead Exemptions

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Everyone in the state of Texas who owns a home is entitled to the homestead exemption, and there’s really no reason not to do it because it will save you money, and not paying as much in taxes is a huge benefit for everyone.

Different exemptions have different tax benefits. Your homestead exemption only applies to the home and the immediate land around it. An ag exemption might be more beneficial for the surrounding acreage. If you’re on a home with large acreage, you might have a combination of a homestead exemption and an ag exemption on your property.

The homestead exemption is something that’s allowed in every county across the state of Texas, and you get a break from school and property taxes based on where you live. If you designate your home as a homestead, then you get that benefit. It does protect you from certain liabilities, so designating your home as a homestead will protect you in the case of litigation or other actions where creditors can’t come after your home, so it is a benefit other than the tax breaks.

There is an additional benefit to getting a homestead exemption in order for a member to get a homestead exemption on their property; they’ll need to go down to the appraisal district by themselves and go ahead and fill out those forms. It’s not something that’s handled at closing, but it can be done right after closing. In order to qualify, you just need to live in the property that you’re claiming the homestead exemption on, and it needs to be your residence. If you have two homes, you can only designate one of those homes as the homestead.

If you have any questions about homestead exemptions, just contact your county tax commissioner.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much do you save with a homestead exemption?

The amount a person can save with a homestead exemption in Texas depends on the value of your home and the area it is located. Section 11.13 (b) of the Texas tax code requires public school districts to offer a $25,000 exemption on residence homesteads (primary residences) located within their districts. Depending on where you live, you might also qualify for a separate exemption of up to $20,000. As a result, homestead exemptions in Texas can save homeowners hundreds or even thousands of dollars on their property tax bill.

  • What does it mean to be homestead exempt?

To be homestead exempt in Texas, it means that you have received a tax break based on home ownership. For example, if your home is worth $300,000 and it is homestead exempt, then you will only pay property taxes as if the home is valued at $275,000. The reason being the homestead exemption in Texas you received was $25,000 less the appraised value of your home.

  • Do I need to apply for a homestead exemption every year?

No. You’ll just have to file the application one time with your district appraisal office. You can find your specific appraisal district’s information here.

  • How to apply for a homestead exemption?

If you meet the basic eligibility requirements for a homestead exemption in Texas, then applying for the exemption is fairly easy. The process for applying for homestead exemptions in Texas varies by county, but applicants should begin by visiting the tax appraisal website for your county. There, you will find your homestead exemption application and instructions for submitting it. As was stated earlier, the good news is once you are issued your homestead exemption, you do not need to apply again to receive it in subsequent tax years.

  • Does a homestead in Texas lower property tax? 

Yes. The exemption lowers the amount of your home’s value that’s eligible for taxation. Since there is no state property tax in Texas, the amount you’ll save in property taxes depends on your specific county’s local taxation rate.


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About the AuthorLori Graham

After several years doing litigation work involving oil and gas, real estate and business law, Lori Graham joined Texas Farm Credit as General Counsel in 2014. Lori attended Texas A&M University, graduating in 2001 followed by receiving a Doctor of Jurisprudence from South Texas College of Law. Spending time with friends, hunting and fishing with family, and taking care of her numerous animals is her favorite way to spend the weekend.

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