Homestead Exemption Austin: How to File Exemptions For Every County Near Austin
If you've recently bought a home in an Austin suburb with low property taxes, you'll be delighted to know that homestead exemptions can further reduce your rate. Keeping up with property tax rules and regulations can be tricky when the relevant tax code sections number hundreds of pages. Several types of available homestead exemptions, different qualifying rules, and multiple taxing entities can make it even more complex.
Luckily for homeowners in the counties around the city of Austin, learning about Texas homestead exemptions and any rules and regulations specific to Hays, Williamson, or Travis County can help reduce property tax burdens.
What Is a Homestead Exemption?
Because there's no state income tax, Texas gets a large part of its revenue through appraisal-based property taxes. The greater the property's appraised value, the higher the amount of taxes collected by the state. Homestead exemptions are a way for property owners to lessen their tax burden by reducing the appraised value of their homes.
For example, suppose your county appraiser values your property at $300,000. If you qualify for the standard school district exemption of $40,000, your property taxes will be calculated based on a reduced appraisal amount of $260,000.
According to Texas's property tax code, a "homestead" is any residential structure, including manufactured homes, owned and occupied by the householder. Up to 20 acres of land may also qualify for homestead exemption, assuming it remains in use for non-commercial purposes.
Texas Homestead Exemption FAQs
How Much is a Homestead Exemption in Texas?
Texas requires that school districts provide a standard homestead exemption of $40,000 for qualifying homes designated as primary residences in their region. Taxing units like cities, counties, or special districts may offer additional total or partial exemptions. Qualifying seniors, disabled persons, military, and surviving spouses may qualify for further tax relief.
How Do I Apply for an Exemption and Fill out a Homestead Exemption Form?
Applying for a homestead exemption in Texas is somewhat straightforward. However, the specifics may vary from one county to the next. First, find your county's tax appraisal district website and check for any particular guidelines or regulations that may apply. In some counties, you'll find a link to apply online. Otherwise, download the Texas Residence Homestead Exemption Application and complete it according to the instructions. File the finished application and required documents with the appraisal district where the homestead is located.
What is the Homestead Exemption Form Deadline in Texas?
The filing deadline is usually April 30, but Texas property owners may submit their application for homestead exemption no later than two years after the delinquency date, typically February 1. For disabled persons or seniors age 65 or older, applications may be accepted up to two years past the deadline, and disabled military veterans can file up to five years late.
Homestead Exemptions in Travis County
In addition to Austin, Travis County includes the city of Bee Cave, city of Lakeway, the city of Lago Vista, and the city of Pflugerville, among others. Owners of eligible property in Travis County qualify for the standard $40,000 homestead exemption required by the state and are bound by all rules and regulations outlined in Texas Property Tax Exemptions as published by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
In addition, recently approved local options by the Travis County Commissioners Court have increased exemptions for disabled persons, seniors age 65-plus, and their surviving spouses to a total of $110,000. Other taxing entities in the county also provide local optional exemptions, including Austin Independent School District and several individual cities.
Property owners and those looking to move to Travis County will appreciate the convenience of downloading and filing homestead exemption applications online through the appraisal district's website. Folks who prefer doing paperwork the old-fashioned way can print and mail their application or even drop it off in person.
Travis Central Appraisal District
PO Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714-9012
Travis Central Appraisal District
850 East Anderson Lane, Austin, TX 78752
Phone: (512) 834-9317
Travis County Appraisal District Resources
Travis Central Appraisal District resources provide all property tax and homestead exemption-related information homeowners might need.
Homestead Exemptions in Williamson County
Williamson County encompasses the north Austin area from the city of Round Rock up I-35 to the city of Georgetown and beyond. The city of Hutto, city of Leander, city of Taylor, and city of Cedar Park also fall within Williamson County. In addition to the state-mandated standard homestead exemption, property owners benefit from additional exclusions approved by county commissioners.
Disabled persons and homeowners age 65 and older qualify for an increased exemption of $125,000 off their appraised property value. Williamson County also recently approved an increased exemption for all eligible property owners to five percent of their homestead's appraisal or a minimum of $5,000. Applications for additional exemptions must be filed with the Williamson Central Appraisal District (WCAD).
County residents are encouraged to use the free online forms found on the WCAD website for faster filing and quicker processing of applications, including general residence homestead exemptions, over-65 and disabled person exemptions, and disabled veteran exemptions. As always, applications can also be delivered in person or by mail.
Mailing & Physical Address:
Williamson Central Appraisal District
625 FM 1460, Georgetown, TX, 78626-8050
Phone: (512) 930-3787
Williamson County Appraisal District Resources
Helpful links and resources for homestead exemptions and property taxes in Williamson County are provided by WCAD, including the Williamson County online homestead exemption application.
Homestead Exemptions in Hays County
Among the Austin-area communities in Hays County are the city of Dripping Springs, the city of Kyle, the city of Buda, and the Driftwood community. As with all counties in the state, Hays is subject to the homestead property tax exemption rules and guidelines established by the Texas Comptroller's office.
Beyond the mandatory standard exclusion of $40,000, Hays County property owners age 65 or older or otherwise qualified as disabled persons will find a maximum homestead exemption of $180,000. Other taxing bodies in Hays County also provide additional local option exemption amounts.
Hays County property owners can find online forms from the Hays Central Appraisal District (HCAD) website. Property tax payments, homestead exemption applications, and appeals of appraised value can all be managed online, by mail, or in person at the HCAD office.
Mailing & Physical Address:
Hays Central Appraisal District
21001 North IH 35, Kyle, Texas 78640
Phone: (512) 268-2522
Hays County Appraisal District Resources
Discover more resources for property tax information, including the Hays County online homestead exemption form, through the HCAD's website.
Austin Homestead Exemptions Made Easy
The information will help you apply for residence homestead exemptions available in the counties around Austin, Texas. Combining this information with knowledge of the cost of living in Austin can help tremendously with budgeting. Depending on the county in which you live, you may be eligible for more relief than simply the standard $40,000 exemption required by the state. Therefore, it's essential to explore all county-specific resources for Williamson, Hays, and Travis Counties. After all, nobody wants to leave money on the table when reducing their tax bill.