What is a Homestead Exemption?
Homestead exemptions are granted by the county appraisal district where the property is located. The exemption reduces a homeowner's property tax bill by removing part of the home's value from taxation. All Texas homeowners may receive a General Residence Homestead Exemption of $25,000 on the value of their property for school taxes. Other taxing entities may also offer exemptions of some percentage of the home's value. Other exemptions are available to homeowners who are over 65 or disabled, and require the same application process.
These requirements must be met to receive the exemption:
1. You must own your home on January 1st of the year for which you are applying. (If you are over 65 and/or disabled, January 1st ownership and residency are not required.)
2. You must reside at the at the home as your principal residence on January 1st of that year, and not claim any other property as homestead.
3. Only individual homeowners (not corporations or other entities) may receive a homestead exemption.
4. A homestead can be a house, condominium or a manufactured home. It can include up to 20 acres, if the land is also owned by the homeowner and used as a yard, or for another purpose related to the residential use of the home.
5. You must apply between January 1st and April 30th of the year for which you want the exemption.
How do homeowners apply?
1. Complete the APPLICATION FOR RESIDENTIAL HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION.
2. Include a copy of your driver's license or identification card from the Texas Department of Public Safety. The address must match the homestead address.
HERE IS A BRIEF EXPLANATION OF HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION:
The homestead has always been sacred in Texas, Reaching back to the republic of Texas and even before, The Texas constitution (section 28) and property code section 42.001 (b)(1) provide that the homestead of a family or single adult is protected from forced sale for purposes of paying debts and judgements except in cases of purchase money, taxes (both ad valorem and federal tax liens against both spouses) owelty of divorce, home improvement loans, no equity loans, reverse mortgage, liens predating the establishment of homestead, refinance loans, or the conversion or refinance of a lien on a mobile home that is attached to the homestead, other liens are void, Further, even a permitted lien must be in writing and singed by both spouses to be valid. The protection of the homestead combined with the prohibition against garnishments of wages has long made Texas a destination for debtors.