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New Home Buyers: Don't Forget To File Your Texas Homestead Exemption

A homestead exemption lowers the property taxes on your home by lowering its taxable value. If your home is valued at $200,000 and you receive a $25,000 homestead exemption, your home will be taxed as if it is worth $175,000. In order to receive this benefit, you must submit an application by the deadline on April 30, 2017


Homestead exemption laws date back to 1835 in Texas when families lost their homes in the 1837 Depression. To protect homeowners in the future, the homestead exemption was added to the Constitution. 

How do I file a homestead exemption?

Just fill out the application in the below link and mail by the deadline of April 30, 2017. I recommend you use certified mail to prove it was received or hand-deliver to the appropriate tax office.  

Buy a New Home in Ellis County? Find the Homestead Application Here.


Who qualifies for an exemption?

Anyone who owned a home on Jan. 1 and used it as a primary residence on that date is entitled to a $25,000 homestead exemption to lower school taxes this year…and it doesn’t matter if your home is a house, condominium or mobile home. A homestead can include up to 20 acres. 


Are other exemptions available?

If you qualify for the over-65 or disabled exemption, you are also entitled to a permanent, locked-in “ceiling” on the school property taxes on your home. In case of death, the over-65 or disabled homeowner’s exemption, but not the school tax ceiling, transfers to the surviving spouse, if the spouse is 55 years of age or older at the time of death and lives in and owns the home. The exemptions may be transferred to another property by using the former home’s tax “ceiling” calculation.


Do I have to apply each year?

No. If you had a homestead exemption on your home the previous year, you won’t need to reapply unless your chief appraiser requires it. However, if you have not received an exemption on your present home or if you have moved to a new home, you will need to file for an exemption the current year.


Is there a fee to file for the exemption?

There is no application fee; the service is provided free of charge. Beware of letters you may receive saying they will file for you for a fee.


What is the application deadline? 

 You are to file the completed application with all required documentation beginning Jan. 1 and no later than April 30 of the year for which you are requesting an exemption. If you qualify for the age 65 or older or disabled persons exemption or the exemption for donated homesteads of partially disabled veterans, you are to apply for the exemption no later than the first anniversary of the date you qualify for the exemption.


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