The Texas Homestead Exemption


“Can I apply for a Texas Homestead exemption?” This was the question asked of me by a recent past client after she received her 2011 property tax bill. She had purchased the home in May of 2011 so she was not eligible for the exception in 2011. The law requires that you own and occupy the home on January 1 of the tax year.

Many people think the primary benefit of the homestead exemption is a reduction in property taxes. While the savings is nice, the most important thing is that homestead laws prevent any creditor (except for the mortgage holder, a taxing authority, or the holder of a note created for a home improvement loan) from forcing the sale of the homestead to satisfy nonpayment of a debt.

On September 1, 2011 the state law was updated and applicants for a homestead exemption are required to provide a copy of their Texas Drivers License and a copy of a vehicle registration with the application. Note that the addresses on the two documents must match the property address on the application.

Links to local appraisal districts in the greater Dallas area: 

Collin County  |  Dallas County  |  Denton County  |  Rockwall County 

Applications for the 2012 exemption have to be received by the approriate appraisal district no earlier than January 1, 2012 and no later than April 30, 2012.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

Photo: Licensed from iStockPhoto