Lower Your Property Taxes with a Homestead Exemption

A homestead exemption is one of the easiest ways for homeowners to lower their property tax bill, and the deadline to submit exemption applications is APRIL 30.

What is a homestead exemption and why should I apply?

Homestead exemptions are a form of tax relief. They remove/reduce part of the value of your property for purposes of taxation and helps lower your property tax bill. It also puts a homestead cap after the first year of having the exemption, which limits the appraised value of your property to not increase more than 10% in value from the previous year. The market value may increase by any percentage but your appraised value for purposes of paying your annual taxes cannot be higher than 10%. The property value reduction and homestead cap are applied every year as long as you continue to have the homestead exemption on your property. For more information, visit HCAD.org.

How can a I tell if they already have the homestead exemption in place?

Check online on the HCAD website linked HERE. Search your property by HCAD Account Number, Address, or Owner Name. The easiest is address. Once the property is found, you can look at the account information to see if you have any type of homestead. If you see “None” under Exemption Type, you should apply for one. If you see any other type of exemption listed, then that means you already have one.

What are the different types of homestead exemptions?

There are several types including:

  • General Residence Homestead Exemption
  • Disabled Person
  • Person Age 65 or Older (or Surviving Spouse)
  • 100 % Disabled Veteran (or Surviving Spouse)
  • Surviving Spouse of an Armed Services Member Killed in Action
  • Surviving Spouse of a First Responder Killed in the line of Duty
  • Donated Residence of Partially Disabled Veteran (or Surviving Spouse)

How do I apply?

The homestead exemption can only be applied to the homeowners primary residence (only one property). To demonstrate your primary residence, you need to make sure your Texas ID or DL shows your house as your primary address before applying. You can apply for the General Homestead Exemption by submitting the traditional paper application or filing online electronically utilizing the HCAD Mobile App. To submit the homestead application utilizing the mobile app, you will need 4 items.

  • The date of occupancy on your residence.
  • Your TX driver’s license (It must show your house address on it to demonstrate that it’s your primary residence.)
  • An iPhone or Android phone
  • The HCAD Info and Exemptions app (found in the App Store or Google Play)

App Download Links:

Apple App Store  (Or visit iTunes and search for Harris County Appraisal District)

Google Play  (Or visit Google Play and search for Harris County Appraisal District)

If you have attended Post Purchase counseling with an Avenue Housing Counselor and would like assistance filling out your application, contact your counselor at 713-864-9099.

ALL applications, regardless of the method of submission, are due by April 30th.

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