A homestead exemption lowers the property taxes on your home by lowering its taxable value. Anyone who owned a home on January 1st and used it as their primary residence on that date is entitled to a general homestead exemption, and it does not matter if your home is a house, condominium, or mobile home.
If you are 65 years of age or older or you are disabled, you are entitled to an additional exemption. If you qualify for either of these exemptions, you are also entitled to a permanent, locked-in ceiling on the school property taxes on your home. Jefferson County also offers the tax ceiling, and cities have the option of granting it. Please contact the Appraisal District to see if the city in which you live grants this optional tax ceiling. These exemptions are effective as of January 1 of the tax year in which you qualify for the exemption and apply to the entire tax year. Homeowners also may transfer the percentage of taxes paid for those entities granting the tax ceiling, based on their former home’s tax ceiling, to a new home. If a person receiving either of these exemptions dies, the exemption and/or the tax ceiling may transfer to the surviving spouse if the spouse is 55 years of age or older and lives in and owns the home. Please contact the Appraisal District for more information.
If you are currently receiving a homestead exemption, you do not need to reapply. However, if you are not currently receiving a homestead exemption and are qualified, please contact the Appraisal District in order that an application form may be mailed to you. The deadline for filing is April 30, 2010; however, if you are 65 this year, you may file for the over-65 exemption up to one year after the date you turned 65.
100% Disabled Veterans
Beginning in 2009, certain disabled veterans are eligible for 100% exemptions for their residence homesteads. Documentation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) must be submitted to prove that the veteran receives full VA compensation and is either rated 100% disabled or has a determination of unemployability from the VA. This exemption must be filed by April 30, 2010.
Disabled Veterans Exemption
A Disabled Veterans Exemption is available to disabled veterans or their survivors. The amount of exemption received varies with the extent of the disability, ranging from $5,000 to $12,000. This exemption is not required to be on your residence homestead; it may be applied to any property you own. This exemption must be filed by April 30, 2010.
Tax relief is also available to a variety of organizations in the form of a total exemption of their real and personal property for property tax purposes. Organizations that may be entitled to an exemption include non-profit cemeteries; charitable organizations; youth, spiritual, mental, and physical development associations; religious organizations; veteran’s organizations; and certain schools and other non-profit organizations.
There are strict guidelines for qualifying for these exemptions, and the qualifications vary according to the type of exemption you are applying for. Some exemptions require an annual application with the Appraisal District, while others, once granted, need not be reapplied for unless requested by the Appraisal District office. The deadline for filing for these exemptions is April 30, 2010.
Agricultural-Use Special Appraisal
If you are a property owner and your land is devoted principally to agricultural use, you may be entitled to a special appraisal of your land for property tax purposes. This special productivity valuation, also referred to as the agricultural-use valuation, is a method of appraising rural land based on the value of the land’s capacity to produce crops, livestock, or timber instead of its value on the real estate market. Productivity valuation results in an appraised value for the land that is lower than its market value, thereby lowering the property taxes. The deadline for filing for a special appraisal is April 30, 2010.
Under Texas Law, persons who own business personal property must file an annual rendition of their property with the Appraisal District. If you render late, do not render, or file an incomplete or false rendition, you could be assessed a 10% to 50% penalty. Any other property owner may optionally choose to file a rendition of their property. A rendition is a statement made by the owner listing taxable property along with the owner’s name and address. The rendition may also include the owner’s estimate of value of the property. The deadline for filing a rendition is April 15, 2010.
Property owners age 65 or older or disabled can postpone paying delinquent and current property taxes on their homesteads by taking advantage of a tax option called Over-65/Disability Tax Deferral. Other homeowners may postpone paying a portion of their delinquent property taxes. For more information on tax deferrals and the restrictions and interest that apply, please contact the Appraisal District office.
Information and Forms
If you have any questions or would like a copy of any of the exemption, special appraisal, rendition, or tax deferral forms, please contact: Blanco County Appraisal District, P.O. Box 338, 200 N Ave G, Johnson City, TX 78636, 830-868-4013.