Gainesville Daily Register

Local News

February 6, 2014

Homeowners encouraged to file a homestead exemption

Gainesville —

One of the easiest ways a homeowner can lower his or her property tax bill in 2014 is to file a homestead exemption.  A homestead is generally the house and land used as the owner’s principal residence on January 1 of the tax year.

Homestead exemptions reduce the appraised value of your home and, as a result, lower your property taxes.  To apply for an exemption on your residence homestead, contact Cooke County Appraisal District.

Available homestead exemptions include:

• School taxes:  All homeowners may receive a $15,000 homestead exemption for school taxes.

• County taxes:  If a county collects a special tax for farm-to-market roads or flood control, a homeowner may receive a $3,000 homestead exemption for this tax.

• Age and disability exemptions:  Individuals 65 or older or disabled as defined by law may qualify for a $10,000 homestead exemption for school taxes, in addition to the $15,000 exemption available to all homeowners.  Also, any taxing unit may offer a local optional exemption of at least $3,000 for taxpayers age 65 or older and/or disabled.  Older or disabled homeowners do not need to own their homes on January 1 to qualify for the $10,000 homestead exemption.  They qualify as soon as they turn 65 or become disabled.

• Taxing units may offer a local option exemption based on a percentage of a home’s appraised value.  Any taxing unit can exempt up to 20 percent of the value of each qualified homestead.  No matter what percentage of value the taxing unit adopts, the dollar value of the exemption must be at least $5,000.

• Partial disabled veteran exemption:  Texas law provides partial exemptions for any property owned by veterans who are disabled, spouses and survivors of deceased disabled veterans.  This includes homesteads donated to disabled veterans by charitable organizations at no cost to the disabled veterans.  The amount of exemptions is determined according to the percentage o service connected disability.

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