As a Texas homeowner, you know by now that the Lone Star State has some of the highest property taxes in the country. Each year the state’s county appraisal districts assess the current market value of properties which determines property taxes. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Texans pay well over $3,000 a year in property taxes compared to the national average of $2,400. As the state continues to grow and home prices climb, homeowners are inevitably going to battle high property taxes for the foreseeable future. Don’t panic. There are things you can do! One of the best and easiest ways to reduce your taxes is to take advantage of the valuable exemptions available to Texas homeowners. And, if exemptions don’t provide you enough tax relief, it’s probably time to protest! Appealing (also referred to as protesting) your taxes is your right and the tax professionals at Gill, Denson & Company can help you get the ball rolling. Here’s a few key things to know on reducing your residential property taxes:
The Homestead is a major exemption that most Texas property owners will qualify for. The Homestead exemption is intended for Texas homeowners whose property is their primary residence. Homestead requires school districts to offer a $25,000 exemption. Plus, local taxing units are allowed the option of offering a separate homestead exemption of up to 20% of a property’s appraised value.
The Homestead “Cap” is an extra benefit of the general homestead exemption. The Cap protects your residence homestead from increases to the appraised (taxable) value in excess of 10% per year from the date of the last appraisal (plus the value of any home improvements made the preceding year). The Homestead Cap kicks in starting the second year that you have a general homestead exemption.
School districts automatically grant an additional exemption for qualified persons 65 or older. Once you qualify, your taxes will not increase unless you make improvements to your home. Most taxing units at the city and county level offer homeowners aged 65 (and up) homestead exemptions of $3,000 or more even though they are not required to do so.
There are also exemptions available for disabled veterans and surviving spouses of disabled veterans. There are special exemptions for disabled persons who can’t work because of physical or mental disabilities. Homeowners who have inherited a home may also qualify for a homestead exemption.
Tax advisor Charles Denson of Gill, Denson & Company recommends appealing your taxes every year, saying, “It’s a vital part of homeownership.” When property owners protest annually, it collectively benefits everyone by keeping the appraisal districts in line and property values from getting too out of whack. The tax professionals at Gill, Denson & Company make the process less stressful by filing your appeal, attending hearings on your behalf and successfully negotiating your taxes down.
If you’re a Texas property owner in need of assistance with your property taxes, reach out to the professionals at Gill, Denson & Company. Our professionals help you reduce your taxes by aggressively appealing your property tax appraisals.