Understanding Your Available Tax Exemptions

Posted by Crystal Olenbush on Thursday, May 15th, 2008 at 3:32pm.

As a taxpayer in Texas, you certainly want to save as much money as possible.  After all, you don’t want to have to pay money in taxes if you don’t have to!  At the same time, in order to reduce the amount of money you have to pay on property taxes, it is important to work within the parameters of the law.

There are four different types of home exemptions that you can apply for as a property owner in Texas.  These apply to your primary residence and they include…

    * School taxes
    * County taxes
    * Optional exemptions
    * Age 65 or older

Understanding these exemptions and how they work is important so you can take full advantage of the benefits they offer.

School Taxes

School tax exemptions are available to all homeowners and qualifying for one is quite easily.  Simply put, you qualify for a $15,000 homestead exemption on the value of your home as compensation for school taxes.

County Taxes

Some Texas counties collect special taxes for things such as flood control and farm-to-market roads.  If you live in one of these counties, you can claim a $3,000 tax exemption.  If you are eligible for a senior or disabled homeowner exemption, however, you will not be able to claim this exemption as well.

Optional Exemptions

It is possible for you to receive additional exemptions from many different taxing units, including the school district, the county, the city, or any other special district.  This exemption can be up to 20% of your home’s value and there is a $5,000 minimum exemption amount.  Each taxing unit is responsible for determining whether or not you receive one of these optional exemptions and they are also responsible for determining the percentage of the exemption.  These exemptions must be determined prior to July 1 of the tax year.

Age 65 or Older

If you are over the age of 65, you property will qualify for additional exemptions.  In addition to the $15,000 that all homeowners receive from school taxes, you also receive an additional $10,000 exemption. If you qualify for a $10,000 exemption for disabled homeowners, however, you cannot receive the exemption for being 65 or older in addition to the disabled qualification.  In this case, you have to decide which exemption you will use.  Any taxing unit can also choose to give property owners over the age of 65 an additional $3,000 exemption.

2 Responses to "Understanding Your Available Tax Exemptions"

Curtis Reddehase wrote: I am impressed with your ability to continuously provide comprehensive information.

Posted on Thursday, May 29th, 2008 at 2:46pm.

Jim Olenbush wrote: Thanks Curtis!

Posted on Thursday, May 29th, 2008 at 2:47pm.

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