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Property taxes can be a significant financial burden for seniors on a fixed income. Fortunately, there are programs that help eligible seniors reduce or freeze their property taxes. In Texas, one such program is the senior freeze tax, also known as the senior property tax freeze or senior freeze exemption.
Homestead Exemption for Seniors – Who is Eligible and How to Apply
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. Seniors qualify for an added $10,000 in reduced property value, resulting in a taxable property value reduction of at least $38,000.
School District Property Tax Freeze – Freezing Property Taxes at 65
Sometimes called the “senior freeze,” property owners 65 and over reach what is known as the homestead tax ceiling. 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 senior freeze tax, Texas also allows senior homeowners to defer their property taxes until their estates are settled after their death. To qualify for this program, the homeowner must be 65 years or older, have a limited income, and own and occupy the home as their primary residence.
States with No Property Tax for Seniors
It’s important to note that not all states offer property tax breaks for seniors. Some states, such as Delaware, Hawaii, and Louisiana, have no property tax for seniors. Other states, such as Florida and Tennessee, have property tax exemptions for seniors, but the qualifications and benefits vary.
How to Apply For the Senior Freeze Tax in Texas
To apply for the senior freeze tax in Texas, you must submit a senior freeze application to your county appraisal district. The application deadline is usually April 30th, but it’s best to check with your county to confirm. If approved, your property taxes will be frozen at a certain amount, and you will continue to pay that amount as long as you continue to qualify for the program.
It’s also important to note that freezing property taxes at 65 does not mean that you stop paying property taxes altogether. In Texas, there is no age at which you stop paying property taxes.
Paying Property Taxes with Home Tax Solutions
The senior freeze tax is a valuable program for eligible seniors in Texas, providing much-needed relief from rising property taxes. If you’re a senior homeowner in Texas, it’s worth exploring the senior property tax freeze and submitting a senior freeze application to your county appraisal district. Even if you don’t qualify for the senior freeze tax, there may be other property tax breaks for seniors that you can take advantage of. If you’re struggling to pay your property tax bill, the Home Tax Solutions team is available to help with property tax loans.