Wednesday, January 5, 2022 / by Jenny Carroll
Changes to the Homestead Exemption
NEW YEAR PROVIDES NEW BENEFITS
FOR PROPERTY OWNERS WITH HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS
Property owners reminded to file for exemptions on property they own and live in
AUSTIN, Texas – The Travis Central Appraisal District (TCAD) is reminding property owners who own and live on a property to save money on their property tax bill by filing for their homestead exemptions.
“On average, a homestead exemption saved Travis County property owners $1,126 on their 2021 property tax bill,” said Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler. “Thanks to new laws and policies, property owners with homestead exemptions are set to enjoy even more reductions in 2022.”
Several types of homestead exemptions are available, including a general residence homestead exemption and exemptions for people over the age of 65, people and veterans with disabilities, and the surviving spouses of service members or first responders killed in the line of duty. To be eligible for a homestead exemption, a property owner must own and occupy a property.
Last year, Travis County, the City of Austin, Central Health, and Austin Community College significantly increased the tax benefits offered to property owners who qualify for an over 65 or disabled person exemption. As of Jan. 1, a change in state law allows for property owners to claim a homestead exemption as of the date they own and live on a property instead of waiting until the new year to be eligible.
In May, voters will weigh in on whether to increase school district exemptions from $25,000 to $40,000 and adjust tax ceilings for property owners who have an over 65 or disabled person exemption.
“The new year will give property owners the chance to vote on exemptions that could lower the biggest contributor to their property tax bill – their school district taxes,” said Crigler.
TCAD’s homestead exemption hotline will continue to provide property owners with assistance completing their applications before the May 2 deadline. By calling 512-873-1560, Travis County residents can speak with a customer service representative who will answer their questions about eligibility and documentation, walk them through their application, and help with submitting a completed application. The helpline is staffed Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Additionally, TCAD will kick off its 2022 Property Owner Webinar Series this month and will include topics such as homestead exemptions, understanding Notices of Appraised Value, and the protest process. The first webinar, held in conjunction with the Travis County Tax Office, is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 11:30 a.m. and will cover property tax bills, payment options, and appraisal remedies.
Added Crigler, “Travis County residents who have questions about the property tax system or need help with their exemption applications will have several options to connect with us in an easy and convenient way.”
Travis County property owners can view the current exemptions on their property, review a list of available homestead exemptions, and download or complete exemption application forms online at www.traviscad.org. The TCAD Homestead Helpline can be reached at 512-873-1560. Property owners can register for the 2022 Property Owner Webinar Series at www.traviscad.org/webinars.
About the Travis Central Appraisal District
The mission of Travis Central Appraisal District, in accordance with the Texas Constitution and the laws of the state, is to provide accurate appraisal of all property in Travis County at one hundred percent market value, equally and uniformly, in a professional, ethical, economical and courteous manner, working to ensure that each taxpayer pays only their fair share of the property tax burden. For more information, please visit www.traviscad.org.