2024 Brings Modifications to Property Taxes and Homestead Exemptions

Texas Homeowners to Benefit from Sweeping Property Tax Changes

After significant changes made by the Texas Legislature, homeowners in the state can expect to see substantial relief in their property tax bills. With the 2023 tax bills due at the end of the month, it is crucial to understand the changes that will impact homeowners’ finances.

One of the key changes is the increase in the homestead exemption as part of an $18 billion property tax relief package. Texas homeowners will now enjoy an increased homestead exemption on their property tax bill, which will rise from $40,000 to $100,000 of their home’s assessed value. This change is automatic for existing homesteads, but homeowners without a homestead exemption are encouraged to apply.

To apply for the homestead exemption, homeowners can find the necessary forms on their county’s appraisal district website. It is important to note that applicants must have a Texas driver’s license or ID card with a matching address, and they must own and occupy the property. The Texas Legislature estimates that the average homeowner will save around $1,200, while persons aged 65 and older or disabled individuals could see average savings of up to $1,400, depending on their property’s value.

Property tax experts emphasize the importance of regularly protesting your taxes to maximize savings. Charles Denson, a property tax attorney with Gill, Denson & Company, advises homeowners to view this process as a yearly maintenance task. Additionally, homeowners who haven’t applied for the homestead exemption can backdate it up to two years after moving into their home.

For Harris County homeowners, information on the application process for the homestead exemption can be found on the county’s website. This valuable resource provides further guidance and assistance.

In another significant change, Texas has implemented a three-year cap on appraisal increases for non-homestead properties. Under this new regulation, appraisals cannot increase by more than 20 percent for properties valued at $5 million or less. This cap offers substantial savings for property owners, potentially amounting to thousands of dollars.

Denson comments on the cap, stating that although 20 percent may still seem like a significant increase, it actually provides relief compared to the previous years when property values experienced much higher surges. In 2023 alone, 95 percent of all property values in Harris County saw an increase from the previous year, with a 16 percent rise for residential properties and a 21 percent increase for commercial properties.

For homeowners with additional questions about property taxes, local appraisal district websites are excellent sources of information. These websites offer comprehensive answers and address any concerns homeowners may have.

With these sweeping property tax changes, Texas homeowners can look forward to significant relief in their tax bills. By taking advantage of the increased homestead exemption and the cap on non-homestead property appraisals, homeowners can potentially save hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Stay informed and make the most of these changes to ensure financial stability and success as a homeowner in Texas.

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