Filing Homestead Exemption in Houston Texas

So, you just bought a new home in Houston, Texas. Or, you are thinking about moving to the Lone Star State and buying some Houston real estate, but you just have not made it to paradise yet. Well, here is some information that will save you money if you’re a proud homeowner here. If you have not saddled your horse and headed to Houston yet, this information might get you to Texas a bit quicker.

First of all, we Texans don’t believe in a state income tax. Yep, we don’t have that critter in these parts. If you live and work here in Houston, you won’t pay one red cent of income tax to the state.

Secondly, for you non-Texans, or, for those who got here as quick as you could, Texas is a “homestead” state. This allows homeowners of Houston real estate to file a homestead exemption with the county they reside in. As a result, the homeowner receives a significant reduction in their annual property taxes from the county government and the appropriate school district. This can save the homeowner a bunch of money over the years.

For example, if you live in Harris County, in and around the Houston area, the homestead exemption gives you a 20% reduction off the assessed value of your home. Remember, we are talking about the home that is your primary residence. The school district, say Houston Independent School District, gives you a $15,000 reduction off the assessed value of your home.

Let’s look at the numbers for county taxes. If you home is assessed at $100,000 (simple math works best for me) and the county tax is .39 cents per hundred of assessed value, then your annual county taxes are $390.00. With a 20% reduction in value, your annual county tax reduces to $312.00. That was easy enough.

Now, your Houston ISD tax rate for year 2008 has been set at $1.1567 per hundred of assessed value. By the way, the tax rate in year 2005 for HISD was $1.62. Every little bit helps. Anyways, without a homestead exemption, your annual school tax will be $1,156.70. File your homestead exemption and “bam” your annual school tax is now $983.19 thanks to the $15,000 reduction of the assessed value.

The total savings between both tax entities is $251.51 per year thanks to the homestead exemption. Think of the savings if our property is assessed at $200,000 or more. I’m too exhausted now to do the math. I have no doubt you can calculate your savings quickly, especially if you are looking for a new home in Houston, Texas.

And, you want to pay more taxes-because?

For senior citizens and disabled persons, the tax savings for filing the appropriate exemption is even greater. It’s just a bit more complicated. You can go online with your county tax office and get just about all the information you need. Oh! You can call me too if you like, or email me at richardelkowitz@westsiderealtors.com. Whether it’s Houston, Texas land for sale or a new Home in Houston, you’re Re/Max Houston professional will locate the right property for you.