High property taxes in Texas can make it difficult for anyone to fit the cost of these annual bills into their budgets. However, for seniors, high home tax rates can mean the difference between being able to afford their independence and maintain the family home for their children. In recognition of this potential hardship, Texas offers several good options to help alleviate the financial burden of property taxes for our seniors. You can learn more about available tax exemptions for homeowners over 65 in this blog, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Home Tax Solutions team to learn more. We’re here to help!
Homestead Exemption for Seniors
Every Texas homeowner is eligible for a homestead exemption for their principal residence. These exemptions reduce the taxable value of the home. Since property taxes are determined based on a percentage of the home’s value, this also decreases annual home tax bills. Homestead exemptions are at least a $25,000 property value reduction. Seniors qualify for an additional $10,000 reduction in most cases. Taxing districts can also offer up to 20% reduction in a homestead value with reductions starting at $5,000. Additionally, individual taxing districts can offer exemptions starting at $3,000. Most Texas seniors qualify from homestead property value exemptions of $35,000 to $40,000, depending on their individual taxing districts, which leads to a significantly lower property tax bill.
School District Property Tax Freeze
You may have heard something called the “senior freeze.” Essentially, this property tax break means that school district property taxes on a homestead (see previous section) cannot increase after the homeowner reaches the age of 65. If the school district property taxes decrease after the homeowner reaches the age of 65, the property tax rate will go down, but it will never go above the property tax “freeze” rate. There is one exemption to this freeze. If you make significant home upgrades or improvements considered beyond the scope of regular repair and maintenance, your freeze rate may be increased in some counties. You should consult your tax assessor collector’s office to learn more.
Property Tax Deferral
In some cases, seniors over the age of 65 can defer their property tax payments until their estates are settled. Tax deferrals are not always the best option, but for seniors who are struggling financially, especially those with advanced illnesses, this solution may make it feasible to stay in their homes a little longer. You can talk to a representative at your tax assessor collector’s office to find out if you’re eligible for deferment and discuss whether or not this is the right choice in your situation.
Paying Property Taxes with a Loan from Home Tax Solutions
If you’ve covered all the exemptions and tax breaks available for Texas seniors but you still can’t quite get that property tax bill covered each year, Home Tax Solutions is here for you. With five locations, we’re able to help homeowners across the state of Texas, offering fixed income friendly home tax loans. You can even get started now by filling out our online application form. We’ll be back in touch soon to discuss the details.