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Exploring Texas Property Tax Relief Programs: Options for Homeowners in Need

Property taxes are a significant expense for homeowners in Texas, often comprising a substantial portion of their annual housing costs. For some homeowners, especially those on fixed incomes or facing financial hardship, property taxes can be a burden that threatens their ability to remain in their homes. Fortunately, Texas offers several property tax relief programs designed to help eligible homeowners reduce their property tax bills and ease their financial burden. In this blog post, we’ll explore these property tax relief programs and discuss options available to homeowners in need.

1. Homestead Exemption

The Homestead Exemption is one of the most well-known property tax relief programs in Texas and is available to homeowners who use their property as their primary residence. The exemption provides a reduction in the taxable value of the homeowner’s property, resulting in lower property taxes. Eligible homeowners can receive a percentage exemption of the appraised value of their homestead, with a maximum dollar amount set by each taxing authority.

To qualify for the Homestead Exemption, homeowners must meet certain criteria, including owning and occupying the property as their primary residence as of January 1st of the tax year, and filing an application with the county appraisal district by the deadline.

2. Disabled Veteran Exemption

The Disabled Veteran Exemption provides property tax relief to qualifying disabled veterans or their surviving spouses. Eligible veterans must have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10% from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to qualify for the exemption. The exemption provides a reduction in the taxable value of the veteran’s property, which varies depending on the veteran’s disability rating.

To apply for the Disabled Veteran Exemption, veterans must file an application with their local county appraisal district and provide documentation of their disability rating from the VA.

3. Over-65 Exemption

The Over-65 Exemption provides property tax relief to homeowners who are 65 years of age or older. Eligible homeowners receive an additional homestead exemption of at least $10,000 on the appraised value of their property, resulting in lower property taxes. Some taxing authorities may offer higher exemptions for homeowners over 65, depending on local regulations.

To qualify for the Over-65 Exemption, homeowners must be 65 years of age or older as of January 1st of the tax year and file an application with the county appraisal district.

4. Disabled Person Exemption

The Disabled Person Exemption provides property tax relief to homeowners who are disabled or have a disability. Eligible homeowners may qualify for a reduction in the taxable value of their property, depending on the extent of their disability and their income level. The exemption amount varies by county and is determined based on the homeowner’s disability rating and income.

To qualify for the Disabled Person Exemption, homeowners must provide documentation of their disability status, such as a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) award letter, and meet certain income requirements set by the county appraisal district.

5. Tax Deferral Programs

In addition to property tax exemptions, Texas offers tax deferral programs that allow eligible homeowners to postpone paying property taxes on their primary residence. The tax deferral programs are available to homeowners who are over 65 years of age, disabled, or qualify as a surviving spouse. Participants in the tax deferral programs accrue interest on the deferred taxes but are not required to make payments until they sell their home or pass away.

Property taxes can be a significant financial burden for homeowners in Texas, but there are several property tax relief programs available to help eligible homeowners reduce their property tax bills and ease their financial strain. From homestead exemptions and disabled veteran exemptions to over-65 exemptions and tax deferral programs, there are options available to homeowners in need of assistance. It’s essential for homeowners to explore these property tax relief programs and take advantage of any benefits for which they may qualify. By reducing their property tax burden, homeowners can better afford to remain in their homes and enjoy a higher quality of life. If you’re a homeowner in Texas facing financial hardship or struggling to pay your property taxes, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local county appraisal district or tax assessor’s office to inquire about available property tax relief programs and eligibility requirements.