It is a must for every homeowner to make sure that you are not paying too much on property taxes than you ought to pay. But how do you check it and how can you reduce your property tax burden is the big question. Here are two ways to do it. The first way mentioned in this blog post is available to almost all homeowners. The second one depends on whether you meet certain aspects. If you qualify you can get tax relief using either one of the methods or both.
Appeal your residential property tax
The Texas authorities calculate your property tax bill by multiplying your property’s value with the tax rate. This is what you are most likely familiar with. But if you consider that Texas has 245 counties, each with its own process of assessing properties, you should appeal your residential property taxes as you most likely had them calculated the same as another county’s.To find information about your CAD you can visit the official website. If you feel the tax assessor has not valued your home properly or if the value is too high when compared to homes similar to yours in the neighborhood you can contact the county assessor for an appeal.
To better understand the concept let’s take a look at an example. This example will help you understand how assessments and valuations affect residential property owners. Say, Aaron and Derrick are owners of a property in Austin, and their assessment value sums up to $300,000. Let us assume the tax rate to be 2%. Aaron and Derrick will owe $6,000 in property taxes. They feel their property valuation is high and go for an appeal and the ARB reduces their property value by $250,000. Now, Aaron and Derrick will have to pay only $5,000 on property taxes.
Claim exemptions you are entitled to.
As per Texas law, you can reduce your property taxes if you meet a few requirements. The tax code offers exemptions depending on the county you live in. Below are a few basic exemptions.
- The basic homestead exemption
Exemptions are one of the easiest ways to reduce property taxes. As per the Texas law for the residence homesteads, the school districts offer a $25,000 exemption. Apart from this, the counties can also offer separate homestead exemptions. This can go up to twenty percent of the appraised value of a property but not less than five thousand dollars.
- Over 65 and the disabled exemption
As far as Texas is concerned, homeowners who are 65 years older or disabled are eligible to get an extra ten thousand dollar exemption from the school taxes. A few districts allow an additional exemption as well. In order to qualify for this exemption, one must meet the definition of disabled made by Social Security which can be found here.
- Disabled veteran exemption
You qualify for this exemption if you were a veteran who was disabled when serving the country’s armed force. A surviving spouse of the veteran or a child who is below 18 years of age and unmarried can also benefit from this exemption. You can benefit from this exemption up to $12,000. The amount of exemption will vary based on the age and disability rating. If you are 70% percent disabled or if you are 65 years or older with 10% disability or blind or if you have lost your limbs you qualify for the highest exemption i.e. $12,000.
To know more about the exemptions and find answers to all your queries visit here. You can also get in touch with your county’s tax appraiser to know more details or know about the forms and deadline. Visit the Texas Comptroller’s website if you’d like to contact your county’s appraiser. If you wish to seek help in protesting your property taxes every year enroll now.
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