Bandera Bulletin Wednesday, February 6, 2019
#5 Homestead Exemption Offers Substantial Tax Savings
Wendy M. Grams – Chief Appraiser
Every year, thousands of homeowners miss out on tax savings because they have not signed up to receive the Residential Homestead Exemption. This exemption reduces the tax liability by excluding a portion of the property value from taxation. The process to receive the benefit is simple – complete an application with the Central Appraisal District of Bandera County designating the property on the application as your principal residence.
State law requires that each owner’s name and their ownership interest in the property be listed on the application. The address listed on the driver’s license must match the property address on the application. This address requirement may be waived for circumstances involving military personnel and individuals in health care facilities. To ensure the accuracy of our records, we will need a copy of the Texas issued driver’s license or state issued ID card. You can contact our office for more information.
In Bandera County, most local taxing entities offer some exemption amount or percentage for the Residential Homestead Exemption. This exemption can help reduce your tax amount in three ways. First, the appraised value of your homestead property is limited to a 10% increase each year. This is a substantial savings when sales prices and market value are increasing by more than 10%. Second, after the appraised value is capped at the 10% increase, the taxable value is further reduced by the amount of each local taxing entity’s optional homestead exemption. The local exemption amounts range from 10 to 20 percent. And finally, homeowners receive an additional reduction of their ISD taxable value. This amount is different for each ISD. For a home valued at 100,000 in the district, the homestead exemption generally amounts to an annual tax savings of approximately $300.
Since the reason for filing an exemption is to lower the tax amount, applications need to be filed by April 30 in order to avoid delays in granting the exemptions. For properties with timely filed applications, the tax statement mailed in October will correctly state the exemption status and the reduced tax amount. Applications filed after this deadline may require corrections to the certified appraisal roll and could delay receipt of a corrected tax statement for up to eight weeks.
Homeowners who purchased a home in 2017 or 2018 and have not yet filed for the exemption will be receiving a reminder letter from us this month. Contact us for an application and return the completed application to our office along with a copy of the owner’s driver’s license or state issued ID. Or, bring in the completed application and we will be happy to make the copies for you.
Filing the application for the Residential Homestead Exemption, the Disabled Person Exemption or the Over 65 Exemption is FREE. If you receive a letter from a company offering to file your exemption for you for a fee, please do not complete the application or pay the fee. What these companies do is not illegal, but there is no reason to pay a fee for a free service.
If you want to check the status of your exemptions, please visit our website at www.bancad.org. You can search for your property by name, address or account number. The exemption status is located in the property information section under Owner.
For any questions regarding exemptions and qualification, please call us at (830)796-3039.