As a homeowner you might wonder if you get a break from property taxes, and the answer would be yes! You may apply for a homestead exemption on your principal residence. Homestead exemptions remove part of your home’s value from taxation, so they lower your taxes. Not all homes will qualify, only the 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 and use the home as his or her principal residence on January 1 of the tax year. The requirements vary some if you are age 65 or older or disabled.
A homestead can be a separate structure, condominium, or a manufactured home located on owned or leased land, as long as the individual living in the home owns it. A homestead can include up to 20 acres, if the land is owned by the homeowner and used for a purpose related to the residential use of the homestead.
There are several types of exemptions you may receive.
- School taxes: All residence homestead owners are allowed a $25,000 homestead exemption from their home’s value for school taxes.
- County taxes: If a county collects a special tax for farm-to-market roads or flood control, a residence homestead is allowed to receive a $3,000 exemption for this tax. If the county grants an optional exemption for homeowners age 65 or older or disabled, the owners will receive only the local-option exemption.
- Age 65 or older and disabled exemptions: Individuals age 65 or older or disabled residence homestead owners qualify for a $10,000 homestead exemption for school taxes, in addition to the $25,000 exemption for all homeowners. If the owner qualifies for both the $10,000 exemption for age 65 or older homeowners and the $10,000 exemption for disabled homeowners, the owner must choose one or the other for school taxes. The owner cannot receive both exemptions.
- Optional percentage exemptions: Any taxing unit, including a city, county, school, or special district, may offer an exemption of up to 20 percent of a home’s value. But, no matter what the percentage is, the amount of an optional exemption cannot be less than $5,000. Each taxing unit decides if it will offer the exemption and at what percentage. This percentage exemption is added to any other home exemption for which an owner qualifies. The taxing unit must decide before July 1 of the tax year to offer this exemption.
- Optional age 65 or older or disabled exemptions: Any taxing unit may offer an additional exemption amount of at least $3,000 for taxpayers age 65 or older and/or disabled.
For more information contact your county Appraisal District.