Understanding the “Senior Freeze” & Other Property Tax Breaks for Seniors

Property taxes in the state of Texas are some of the highest in the U.S., but for seniors, these high property tax bills can be an especially big burden. Luckily, Texas has taken some steps to alleviate the burden of property taxes for seniors. There are numerous exemptions, deferrals, and other options to help property owners over the age of 65 keep the cost of their annual property tax bills within their budgets including the “senior freeze” you may have heard about. Keep reading to learn a little more about available property tax rates for those who are 65 and over. 

Homestead Exemption for Seniors

All Texas property owners can apply for a homestead exemption that reduces the taxable property value, which in turn reduces the amount of their annual property tax bill. As long as the property is the homeowner’s principal residence, they will qualify for this exemption. All residences that qualify for homestead exemptions receive at least a $25,000 reduced property value for school district taxes. Seniors qualify for an added $10,000 in reduced property value. Additionally, all taxing districts can offer optional percentage exemptions of up to 20% of the home’s value or at least $5,000. Optional percentage exemptions for seniors may also be available from taxing districts. These exemptions start at $3,000. Put simply, most Texas seniors qualify for a taxable property value reduction of at least $38,000. 

School District Property Tax Freeze

Sometimes called the “senior freeze,” property owners 65 and over reach what is known as the homestead tax celling. This tax ceiling states that once you reach the age of 65, your school district taxes on a resident homestead cannot increase. If the school district property taxes decrease, your bill will be lower, but the bill will not increase above the school district tax amount you paid in the year you qualified for the senior freeze. The only way the school district tax will increase is if you make a significant improvement to your property (outside of regular home repairs and maintenance).  

Senior Property Tax Deferral Options

In addition to the tax breaks available for those over the age of 65, Texas also allows senior homeowners to defer their property taxes until their estates are settled after their death. You can talk to your tax assessor collector’s office for more information about deferment to determine whether or not it’s a good option.

Paying Property Taxes with Home Tax Solutions 

If you’ve taken advantage of all the available tax breaks for Texas seniors and you’re still struggling to pay your property tax bill, the Home Tax Solutions team has you covered. To get started, you can call one of our five locations across the state to work with our knowledgeable loan team members. You can also apply online, using our simple application form.