General Residential Homestead Exemption
Land and a house (improvements) must meet the test of residential occupancy. One house may use one lot, another may use one acre, another three acres and so on. However, no homestead exemption may be granted on more land than is being used as a residence. In other words, a residence homestead is basically a home and a yard. To qualify, the property must be designed or adapted for human residence and the homeowner must own the property on January 1 of the year application is made. The person claiming the exemption must reside at the property on January 1 and cannot claim a homestead exemption on any other property. In addition, a homestead exemption may not be claimed by a spouse on other property.
Over-65 Homestead Exemption
You will qualify for this exemption on the date you become age 65. This exemption includes a school tax limitation or ceiling. You must submit proof of age. Acceptable proof includes a copy of the front side of your driver’s license or a copy of your birth certificate. You may not receive both this exemption and the disability exemption. If you qualify for both exemptions, you must choose one. The over-65 exemption is generally the better choice, since it qualifies for a school tax ceiling. In addition, the over-65 exemption and the school tax ceiling may be transferred to another property if you change your primary residential status to that property.
Disability Homestead Exemption
You must meet all of the qualifications for the General Residential Homestead exemption outlined above and you must be under a disability for the purposes of payment of disability benefits under the Federal Old-Age, Survivor’s and Disability Insurance Act. Or, you must have met the definition of disabled in that act on January 1 of the year for which you are applying. You must submit proof of disability which includes a current printout from Social Security showing that you are disabled and the date on which your disability began. You may also submit a current letter of verification from your physician stating that you are disabled, giving the date your disability began, and that you are unable to engage in any substantial gainful work for a period which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of a year or more. You may not receive both this exemption and the over-65 exemption.
Over-55 Surviving Spouse of a Person who Received the Over-65 Exemption
If qualified, you will receive an extension of the over-65 exemption and the school tax ceiling. In order to qualify, your deceased spouse must have been receiving the over-65 exemption on this residence homestead or would have applied and qualified before the spouse’s death. You must have been 55 years of age or older on the date your spouse died and death must have occurred on or after December 1, 1987. You must submit proof of age and proof of death of your spouse.
When filing for the General Residential Homestead exemption and the Disability Homestead exemption, you must file an application no later than one year after the date you paid the taxes on the homestead or the taxes became delinquent, whichever comes first. When filing for the over-65 exemption during the year, in order to qualify for the over-65 exemption for a prorated portion of that year, you must file no later than the first anniversary of the date you become age 65.
Benefits of Exemptions
All school districts within Grayson County grant a reduction of $15,000 from your market value for a General Residential Homestead exemption. Some taxing units also offer additional optional reductions for the homestead exemption. In addition, each school district will grant a minimum reduction of $10,000 from the market value for an over-65 exemption. For optional exemptions, the governing body of each taxing entity decides whether it will offer the exemption and at what percentage.
Over-65 Tax Deferral
If you are a homeowner who has attained age 65 or older, you may also defer or postpone paying any delinquent property taxes on your home for as long as you own and live in it. Check with your appraisal district for information about how to apply for this postponement. It is important to note that this deferral only postpones your taxes and does not cancel them. When the property is sold or comes under the ownership of heirs, the taxes and interest of 8% become payable.
An organization that qualifies as a religious organization is entitled to certain exemptions from taxation. To qualify, the organization must be organized and operated primarily for the purpose of engaging in religious worship or promoting the spiritual well being of individuals. The organization must be operated in such a way that no individual profits (other than salary) and the organization’s bylaws, charter or other regulations must pledge its assets for use in performing the organization’s religious functions. See the Texas Property Tax Code in Section 11.20 for more details. Applications may be obtained from the appraisal district.
Land designated for agricultural use is appraised at its value based on the land’s capacity to produce agricultural products. The value of land based on its capacity to produce agricultural products is determined by capitalizing the average net income the land would have yielded under prudent management from production of agricultural products during the five (5) years preceding the current year. Property owners may qualify for agricultural appraisal under two different laws. You may refer to Subchapter C, Section 23.41 and Subchapter D, Section 23.51 of the Texas Property Tax Code for details of these laws or you may consult with the appraisal district.
Freeport Exemptions for Business Personal Property
Material that is transported outside of this state not later than 175 days after the date the person who owns it on January 1 acquired it, or imported it into this state, and assembled, manufactured, repaired, maintained, processed, or fabricated and shipped the materials out of the state during the required time is Freeport goods. An application for this exemption must be filed with the appraisal district by April 30 each year. Copies of this application complete with instructions and supplemental forms are available on this website or obtained from the appraisal district.
Appointment of Tax Consultants
A person may not perform property tax consulting services for compensation unless the individual is a registered property tax consultant or a registered senior property tax consultant. Consultants must complete Appointment of Agent forms listing each account the consultant is authorized to represent. That form must be on file with the appraisal district prior to actions taken on behalf of the tax consultant’s client. Check with the appraisal district for more details on applying for this form.