Your Texas home is, as you’re all too aware, subject to local property taxes – every year, just when you'd forgotten about them for a while. Of course, you want to make sure that you’re not paying more into the system than you have to.
So, how can you reduce your Texas property tax burden? There are two main ways to do so. The first is potentially available to all homeowners. The second depends on whether you meet certain qualifications. If you meet those qualifications, you can seek tax relief using either or both methods.
You may know that the Texas authorities compute your property tax by multiplying your home’s taxable value by the applicable tax rate.
Example: The appraiser has placed a taxable value of $200,000 on the Garcias' home. If the tax rate is 1%, they will owe $2,000 in property tax.
If you can reduce the taxable value of your home, you property tax bill will be lower.
Example: The Garcias appeal the $200,000 taxable value of their home. The Texas appeals board reduces that value to $150,000. Now, they owe only $1,500 in property tax.
If you believe that the tax appraiser has misjudged the value of your home – or if the taxable value is higher than that of similar homes – you might want to pursue an appeal. For more information, read Should You Challenge Your Property Tax Assessment in Texas?, and Procedures for Challenging Your Property Tax Assessment in Texas.
Texas allows for reduced property taxes if you meet certain requirements. The chief programs in Texas are summarized here.
Contact your county tax appraiser for complete details on these and other Texas exemptions, including any required forms you need to complete and the deadline for filing those forms. You can get contact information for your county appraiser from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Just click on the name of your county.
Depending on the complexity of your situation, you may want to seek legal help. To find an experienced real estate lawyer in Texas, check out Nolo’s Lawyer Directory.