Couple standing in front of their new home. They are both wearing casual clothes and embracing. Rear view from behind them. The house is contemporary with a brick facade, driveway, balcony and a green lawn. The front door is also visible. Copy space

Republic Title Answers Your Questions on Recent Changes to Homestead Exemptions 

Homestead exemptions are a form of property tax relief provided to homeowners who use their property as their primary residence.

In the ever-evolving landscape of property taxes, understanding the intricacies of exemptions can significantly impact homeowners.  Recent changes to the Texas Constitution and the Tax Code have impacted homestead exemptions and how Central Appraisal Districts (CADs) handle those exemptions.  

In this post, we will be discussing what homeowners need to know about Proposition 4, which increased the amount of the homestead exemption resulting in significant savings for Texas homeowners, and recent modifications to the Texas Tax Code requiring all CADs to verify a property owner’s eligibility to continue to receive their homestead exemption.

What is a Homestead Exemption?

Before diving into the changes, let’s clarify what homestead exemptions entail. Homestead exemptions are a form of property tax relief provided to homeowners who use their property as their primary residence, also known as their homestead. These exemptions reduce the taxable value of a property, resulting in lower property taxes for eligible homeowners.

Recent Changes in Texas Tax Code

In Texas, where property taxes are a significant revenue source for local governments, any amendments to the tax code draw attention. The recent changes to Section 11.43 of the Texas Tax Code require the CADs to put procedures in place to confirm, once every five years (at a minimum), that homeowners still qualify for their homestead exemption.  It is important to note that this change may require homeowners to reapply for the homestead exemption or to provide documentation to continue to receive the benefits.  

If a homeowner receives a letter from the CAD regarding the need to reapply for a homestead exemption, or to provide additional documentation, it is vital that the homeowner provided that information before the deadline stated in the letter.  Failure to do so may trigger the loss of the exemption and any other related property tax exemptions resulting in a higher tax bill.

Proposition 4

Proposition 4 was a constitutional amendment overwhelmingly approved by Texas voters in November 2023 that increased the amount of the homestead exemption from $40,000 to $100,000.  This means eligible homeowners can now enjoy greater reductions in their property tax burdens, providing welcome relief amidst rising property values and tax rates.

How to Apply For The Homestead Exemption

Understanding how to apply for a homestead exemption is crucial for Texas homeowners looking to benefit from property tax relief. While the process may vary slightly depending on the county, here are the general steps to follow:

  1. Determine Eligibility: Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for homestead exemptions in Texas. Generally speaking, you must own and occupy the property as your primary residence on January 1st of the tax year in which you apply for the exemption.  In some instances, it may be possible for a homeowner to apply for the homestead exemption immediately upon acquisition of the property.  If you have questions about when you may submit your application for a homestead exemption, please contact your local CAD.
  2. Gather Required Documentation: Collect the necessary documents required for the application process. This typically includes proof of ownership (deed or contract), proof of residency (driver’s license or voter registration listing the property address as your home address), and any additional documents requested by your local CAD.
  3. Complete the Application Form: Obtain the homestead exemption application form from your county’s appraisal district or download it from their website. Fill out the form accurately and completely, providing all requested information. For a list of North Texas CADs, visit Republic Title’s blog
  4. Submit the Application: Once you’ve completed the application form and gathered all necessary documentation, submit them to your county’s appraisal district by the CAD’s specified deadline. Most counties allow you to submit the application by mail, in person, or online, but those options may differ by county.
  5. Follow Up: After submitting your application, follow up with the CAD to ensure that they have received it and that there are no additional requirements or steps needed to process your application.
  6. Monitor Your Property Tax Bill: Once your homestead exemption application is approved, you should see the reduced exemption amount reflected on your next property tax bill. Monitor your tax bill to confirm that the exemption has been applied correctly.

The standard homestead exemption is just one of many exemptions in Texas. Other exemptions include the Disabled Veteran Exemption, Over 65 Exemption, Agricultural Exemption, and Disabled Individual Exemption. For more information on these exemptions, visit Republic Title’s website.  

By staying informed about the homestead exemption application process in your county, you can take advantage of the property tax relief available to Texas homeowners and maximize your savings. If you have any questions or need assistance with the application process, don’t hesitate to reach out to your county’s appraisal district or consult with a tax professional for guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.

Additionally, when navigating real estate transactions in North Texas, partnering with a trusted title company such as Republic Title can streamline the process and provide assurance. With our extensive experience and expertise in handling real estate transactions, Republic Title is the preferred title partner for North Texas real estate transactions. Our dedicated team is committed to delivering exceptional service and ensuring smooth and successful closings for our clients.

Source: Republic Title Answers Your Questions on Recent Changes to Homestead Exemptions  –

Tags: No tags

Comments are closed.