Frequently Asked Questions

Definition of ‘Appraisal’

  • Appraisal: Professional estimate or opinion of the value of property, as of a stated date.

Definition of ‘Mass Appraisal’

  • Mass Appraisal: A systematic appraisal of a universe of properties, as of a given date, derived through means that can be statistically tested.

Definition of ‘Appraised Value’

  • Appraised Value: An appraiser’s opinion of value which is based upon an interpretation of facts and judgments and processing those into an estimate of value.

Definition of ‘Assessed Value’

  • Assessed Value: An appraiser’s estimate of market value after deductions for applicable exemptions.

How can I change my mailing address? Can you change my mailing address by phone?

  • In order to protect the interest of property owners, it is SJCADs policy not to make address changes over the telephone. Please request address changes in writing, stating the address or account number of the property to be changed, the new mailing address, printed owner name and signature. Please include a daytime phone number where you can be reached in case we have any questions. The request may e-mailed, mailed or faxed to the office.

What kinds of property are taxable?

The Texas Property Tax Code requires that all property is taxable unless the State Legislature has passed laws to exempt it. Houses, mobile homes, lots, acreage, commercial buildings, apartments, oil and gas reserves, industrials, utilities and business inventory and equipment are all taxable.

  • What is meant by the word “improvement” that appears on my Notice of Appraised Value?

Improvement means:

  •   A building, structure or fixture erected on or affixed to land; or
  •   A transportable structure that is designed to be occupied for residential or business purposes, whether or not it is affixed to land, if the owner of the structure owns the land on which it is located.

How did the San Jacinto County Appraisal District arrive at my value?

  • By utilizing comparable sales, income and/or cost data, a SJCAD appraiser applies generally accepted mass appraisal techniques to estimate a value for your property.

What is the San Jacinto County Appraisal District’s role in the tax system?

There are three main parts to the property tax system in Texas.

  1. An appraisal district in each county sets the value of property each year and administers exemptions.
  2. An Appraisal Review Board settles disagreements between property owners and the appraisal district about property values and exemptions; they also make determinations on challenges initiated by taxing units.
  3. Local taxing units, which include the county, city, school district, and special districts, decide how much money they will spend. This, in turn, determines the total amount of taxes that property owners must pay.

Who sets the tax rates?

  • The governing body (such as a city council, school board, county commissioner’s court, etc.) of each taxing entity sets the rates for their jurisdiction. The taxing units decide what services they will provide in the coming year and how much revenue they will need to provide those services. Each taxing unit adopts a tax rate that will raise the needed tax dollars.

What are the taxes on this property? How much are my taxes?

  • The San Jacinto County Appraisal District does not levy taxes, set tax rates or collect taxes. The appraisal district does not capture the amount of taxes on any property.

Are property taxes based on a percentage?

  • No, not since the creation of appraisal districts in 1982. State law requires property taxes to be based on the full, 100%, market value of a property less eligible exemptions.

Who is the Board of Directors?

  • The Board of Directors of the San Jacinto County Appraisal District is comprised of five members and one “ex officio” member who govern the operation of the appraisal district by setting policies, adopting a budget, approving contracts, etc. The County Tax Assessor/Collector, by law, serves as the ex officio member of the Board. The remaining five members must meet eligibility requirements. To be eligible to serve on the Board of Directors, the individuals must be a resident of the district and have resided in the same district for at least two years immediately preceding taking office. Board members serve two-year terms beginning on January 1 of even numbered years.

How is the Board of Directors chosen?

  • The governing bodies of all taxing units within the district select the appraisal district’s directors. If the governing bodies do not select the county tax assessor collector as a director, the county tax assessor-collector serves as a non-voting director.

How is an appraisal district funded?

  • Each taxing unit located in the appraisal district pays a pro-rata share of the SJCAD budget. Some appraisal districts have adopted different funding mechanisms. Most appraisal districts base each taxing unit’s share on the amount of taxes levied by that unit compared to the total taxes levied by all units in the district.

Why did my value change?

During our annual reappraisal, value changes may occur for several reasons:

  • Due to market conditions, rising or falling values;
  • The correction of the data base, such as a change in square footage, a pool or other secondary improvement not previously accounted for or a correction of property characteristics; or
  • A value may be changed for equalization purposes.

Why are you inspecting my property?

  • In order to make accurate appraisals on every property in our jurisdiction, it is necessary to visit them periodically to ensure that the data used in making the appraisal is correct. For instance, since we last visited your home the condition of the structure could have changed. The appraisal district could have received a copy of a building permit indicating that a room was being added, the house was being remodelled, or some amenity such as a pool or detached garage was being added to or removed from the property.

What is market value?

Market value, often referred to as “fair market value” in the discussion of property taxes, means the price at which a property would transfer for cash or its equivalent under prevailing market conditions if:

  • exposed for sale in the open market with a reasonable time for the seller to find a purchaser;
  • both the seller and purchaser know of all the uses and purposes to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used and of the enforceable restrictions on its use; and
  • both the seller and purchaser seek to maximize their gains and neither is in a position to take advantage of the exigencies of the other.

Can I request an onsite inspection/re-inspection?

  • The appraisal district will complete an onsite inspection of your property at your request under certain restrictions. If an on-site inspection is required, which would likely include the inspection of the interior of the property, including photographs, an appointment will need to occur during normal business hours (M-F 8:00AM to 5:00PM). An inspection request during the Appraisal Review Board process could be difficult because of time and staffing constraints. However, it is our goal to accommodate all inspection requests and we will do our best to work around any timing issues.

Is my house ever depreciated?

  • Yes, however market appreciation can often offset physical depreciation.

How do you arrive at a value on a house?

  • The house is either measured in the field or taken from building plans submitted during the permitting process and verified by field review. The house is then classified based on construction type and quality, then depreciated according to its age and effective age (observed condition). Typically, the market value is based on sales of similar properties. In some circumstances, such as new construction, the appraiser may utilize the Cost Approach to Value, but typically a residential property is appraised via the Sales Comparison (Market) Approach basing the value on comparable sales within the subject neighbourhood, adjusting for differences such as lot value, quality, condition, and size.

My house was not finished on January 1, how do you appraise it?

  • The improvement (house) is added to the appraisal roll at the percent of market value, generally based on completion, as of January 1st of the tax year.

My house is 30 years old. Is that taken into consideration?

  • Yes. Age, size, condition, quality and type of construction of the house/improvements are all taken into consideration.

What land qualifies for agriculture appraisal?

  • The Texas Constitution permits qualified open-space land to be taxed generally at productivity value instead of market value. The legal basis for this type of special valuation called “Ag Use Open Space” or “1-d-1”. The land must have been devoted to a qualifying agricultural use for at least five (5) of the preceding seven (7) years. Land under agricultural production must be specifically identified and products produced clearly stated. The land shall be described legally and physically. Physical description identifies the land in categories or classifications such as dry land cropland or native pasture, as well as the number of acres in production. The productive capacity of the land must be described to allow for measurement of agricultural production intensity. If the land is located within the boundaries of a city or town, one of the following requirements must be met in addition to the normal requirements: the city must not provide the land with general services comparable to those in other parts of the city having similar features and population and/or must have been devoted principally to agricultural use continuously for the preceding five years.
  • Applications must be made on an acceptable form after January 1st and before May 1st of the tax year. If May 1 falls on a weekend or holiday, the next working day is the deadline. Applications received after the deadline will be accepted until the appraisal roll is certified. If approved, late applications will be subject to a penalty of ten percent (10%) of the difference between the amount of the tax imposed on the property at agriculture value (1-d-1) and the amount that would be imposed if the property were taxed at market value. See the Agricultural Valuation Policies link on this site for more details. Agricultural-Use applications can be found on the ‘Forms’ tab on this website.

What happens if land receiving an agricultural appraisal changes to a non-agricultural use?

  • If land receiving a 1-d-1 agricultural appraisal changes to a non-agricultural use, the property is subject to a rollback. The rollback tax is due for each of the previous five years in which the land received the special appraisal. The rollback tax is imposed on the difference between the taxes on the land’s agricultural value and the taxes calculated if the land had been taxed on its market value. Plus, the owner pays seven percent (7%) interest for each year from the date that the taxes would have been due. For example, the fifth year of rollback tax bill may include as much as thirty five percent (35%) interest, depending on the date the use changed.

What is a Confidential Business Personal Property Rendition?

  • This is a statement listing anything that is not real property used to generate income. All businesses are required by state law to file this rendition.

What is business personal property?

  • Business personal property includes, but is not limited to, furniture, fixtures, equipment, (office and shop), tools, machinery, computers, copiers, motor vehicles, aircraft, inventory held for sale on consignment, raw materials, goods in process, finished goods and/or those awaiting sale or distribution. Please note: If you use your own personal tools, machinery, equipment, vehicles or any other item, gadget or thing to produce a product or provide a service and receive income, those items are included in the appraisal assessment.

When do you file the rendition and what is the deadline?

  • After January 1st and not later than April 15th of each tax year, if the deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday it is postponed until the next business day.

What should I do if I am unable to file on time?

  • If more time is needed, a May 15th extension request must be received by the April 15th deadline and must be in writing. Mail your request to P. O. Box 1170 or 99 Slade Street, Coldspring, TX 77331 Attn: BPP Department or you may fax your request to 936-653-5271, please include the property account number if available, each request for an extension must include the business owners name, location address of the business and a phone number, once the request is processed a letter of approval or disapproval will be mailed to the address the district has on file.

Can I file my rendition on-line or electronically?

  • No, currently this function is not available.

Is leased equipment taxable?

  • Yes. It is taxable to the owner of the property as of January l of the tax year.

Am I required to file a business personal property rendition form?

  • Yes. State law requires that all business owners file a business personal property rendition annually. If you fail to timely file a rendition or other property report required by Texas law, the chief appraiser must impose a penalty in an amount equal to ten percent (10%) of the total taxes due on the property for the current year.

How can a rendition form be obtained?

  • As a courtesy, the appraisal district mails rendition forms to businesses currently listed on the appraisal district’s records. If a business owner does not receive a form, it is the business owner’s responsibility to contact the San Jacinto County Appraisal District at 936-653-1450. Rendition forms are also available on this website on the ‘Forms’ tab.

When can I expect to receive my rendition form?

  • Renditions are mailed by February 1st of each year.

Is it to my benefit to render my business personal property?

  • Yes. The age and original cost of the property is very important and may help in determining the value of the property. An appraiser may come by your property location to make an inspection and will make an estimate of your property’s worth.

What happens if I don’t file a rendition for my business?

  • If you fail to timely file a rendition or other property report required by Texas law, the chief appraiser must impose a penalty in an amount equal to ten percent (10%) of the total taxes due on the property for the current year. If a court determines that a taxpayer filed a false rendition or report with the intent to commit fraud or to evade the tax or has altered, destroyed, or concealed any record, document, or thing, or presents to the chief appraiser any altered or fraudulent record, document, or thing, or otherwise engages in fraudulent conduct for the purpose of affecting the outcome of an inspection, investigation, determination, or other proceeding before the appraisal district, the chief appraiser must impose an additional penalty equal to fifty percent (50%) of the total taxes due on the property for the current year.
  • If the appraisal district determines that there has been omitted property left off the roll, the property will be back assessed. Additional penalty and interest may be applied.

What if I move or sell my business during the year?

  • The tax liability on business personal property is determined according to its location and ownership as of January 1.

What if I close my business during the year, will my taxes be prorated?

  • No. The taxes will be assessed for the entire year.

Are rendered business records open to the public?

  • No. Personal property renditions are confidential and not available from open records for public inspection.

My business has an aggregate value less than $20,000. Must I complete all of this complicated form?

Section 22.019(f) of the Texas Property Tax Code states:

  • “Notwithstanding Subsections (a) and (b), a rendition statement of a person who owns tangible personal property used for the production of income that, in the owner’s opinion, has an aggregate value of less than $20,000 is required to contain only:
  1. the name and address of the property owner;
  2. a general description of the property by type or category;
  3. the physical location or taxable situs of the property.”

Is my business taxable if I operate it from my home?

  • Yes. All business assets, regardless of location, are taxable.

I own my own tools and equipment, but use them in my business. Are these items taxable?

  • Yes. All furniture, fixtures, equipment, (office and shop), tools, machinery, computers, copiers, motor vehicles, aircraft, inventory held for sale on consignment, raw materials, goods in process, finished goods and/or those awaiting sale or distribution that are used to produce income are taxable whether you make a profit or not.

Can my vehicle that I use for personal and business be exempt?

  • Effective January 2007 the taxpayer may file an exemption on one vehicle that is owned by an individual and the vehicle is being used for personal and business use. This exemption deadline is April 30th.

Can I use my bookkeeping records as my rendition?

  • Yes. Attach these records to the rendition, sign and date it and then return it to our office. Include asset listings with the date of acquisition and original cost. All assets owned by the business must be rendered.

If all my business personal property has already been depreciated out according to Federal Income Tax Laws, is my business still taxable?

  • Yes. If your business personal property is still in use and used to generate income, your business personal property is taxable.

May I use my Federal Income depreciation schedule?

  • Yes. However, you must list all assets still in use to produce income along with it the year of acquisition and original cost.

What if the Appraisal District values are higher than the amount that was rendered?

  • If you disagree with the appraisal district value, you have the right to protest before the ARB.

Can the appraisal district request additional information after receiving a rendition?

Yes, Section 22.07 of the Texas Property Tax Code states:

  • (c) The chief appraiser may request, either in writing or by electronic means, that the property owner provide a statement containing supporting information indicating how the value rendered under Section 22.01 (a)(5) was determined. The statement must:
  •  summarize information sufficient to identify the property, including:
  1. the physical and economic characteristics relevant to the opinion of value, if appropriate; and the source of the information used;
  2. state the effective date of the opinion of value; and
  3.  explain the basis of the value rendered. If the property owner is a business with 50 employees or less, the property owner may base the estimate of value on the depreciation schedules used for federal income tax purposes.
  • (d) The property owner shall deliver the statement to the chief appraiser, either in writing or by electronic means, not later than the 21st day after the date the chief appraiser’s request is received. The owner’s statement is solely for informational purposes and is not admissible in evidence in any subsequent protest, suit, appeal or any other proceeding under this title involving the property other than:
  1.  a proceeding to determine whether the property owner has complied with this section;
  2.  a proceeding under Section 22.29(b); or
  3.  a protest under Section 41.41 of the Texas Property Tax Code.
  • (e) A statement provided under this section is confidential information and may not be disclosed, except as provided by Section 22.27 Texas Property Tax Code.
  • (f) Failure to comply with this section in a timely manner is considered to be a failure to timely render under Section 22.01 of the Texas Property Tax Code, and penalties as described in Section 22.28 of the Texas Property Tax Code shall be applied by the chief appraiser.

What is Dealer’s Special Inventory tax?

  • For property tax purposes, Texas law requires that a motor vehicle dealer’s inventory is appraised based on the total sales of motor vehicles in the prior year. Dealers must file with the county appraisal district a Dealer’s Motor Vehicle Inventory Declaration from listing the total value of the inventory sold in the prior year. The dealer must also file with the county tax office a monthly form Dealer’s Motor Vehicle Inventory Tax Statement listing the motor vehicles sold, and prepay their property taxes for each vehicle, a copy of this monthly form must also be sent to the county appraisal district.

What are the due dates of Dealer’s Motor Vehicle Inventory forms?

  • The yearly Declaration is due February 1st and the monthly inventory statements are due each month by the 10th.

I am a new dealer. Where can I get the Dealer’s Motor Vehicle Inventory forms?

  • These forms can be found on this website under the ‘Forms’ tab, or you can call our office at 936-653-1450 and ask to speak with someone in the business personal property department about dealer’s motor vehicle tax.

Why did I receive a Notice of Appraised Value this year?

  • SJCAD sends a Notice of Appraised Value to all property owners in San Jacinto County whose value has increased by $1,000 or more.

What if I don’t agree with the appraised value or have questions?

  • Your property value is important to us. We would like the opportunity to informally discuss any questions or concerns you may have about your notice of appraised value. There are two options you may want to take advantage of: Informal Review or Formal Protest. Please note an informal discussion/review does not reserve your rights to an Appraisal Review Board Hearing.

How do I request an Informal Review or to ask questions?

  • In Person: 99 Slade Street, Coldspring, TX 77331
  • M-F, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, (1st Come, 1st Served – Typical wait time is 45 minutes & increases greatly the last week of May, as the deadline for filing a protest approaches.)
  • By Phone: 936-653-1450
  • Mail: P. O. Box 1170, Coldspring, TX 77331
  • By e-mail: fran.willett@sjcad.org

What information should I bring when I come to speak informally with an appraiser?

  • Evidence of a hidden defect that you believe could affect the property’s value. Evidence can be a photograph, repair estimates from a contractor or appraisal from an independent fee appraiser.
  • A copy of your property appraisal if one has been made on your property in the last 12 months. If you have financed your property, you are entitled to receive a copy of the appraisal from your lending institution.
  • Sales of properties that are similar to the subject property in size, age, location and type of construction. Use sales that have occurred closest to January 1st of the tax year in question.
  • Most value issues can be resolved by discussing them with one of the San Jacinto County Appraisal District staff appraisers.

What should I do if I do not want to meet with an appraiser informally or if I have already met with one and I do not agree with their decision?

  • You should file a formal written protest.

How do I file a formal protest?

  • To protest a value or other issues as provided by state law, a taxpayer must file a protest by May 31st, or 30 days from the date of the Notice of Appraised Value was sent, whichever is later. The Notice of Protest need not be an official form. You can submit a letter to the San Jacinto County Appraisal District stating the protesting property owner’s name, identifying the subject property and indicating the reason for protesting. A protest form can be found on this website on the ‘Forms’ tab.

What happens once the district receives my formal protest?

  • A hearing before the Appraisal Review Board will be scheduled and you will be mailed via First Class mail a Notice of Protest Hearing 15 days prior to the hearing date.

What if the date and time I am assigned is not convenient for me?

  • You are entitled to one postponement of the hearing without showing good cause if you have not designated a property agent to represent you at the hearing by telephone or in writing.

What if I still cannot make the hearing?

  • The law allows you to submit your evidence in the form of a sworn affidavit. The affidavit must clearly indicate that you swear or affirm that the information it contains is true and correct, and you must execute it before a notary public or other public official who is authorized to administer the oath. An Affidavit of Evidence form is mailed with the Notice of Protest Hearing.

What is the Appraisal Review Board?

  • An Appraisal Review Board (ARB) is established in each appraisal district in the State of Texas. The ARB is comprised of private citizens authorized by state law to hear protests by property owners or their designated tax agent, including protests regarding appraised value and denial of exemptions.

What happens in an Appraisal Review Board hearing?

  • Your Notice of Protest Hearing will include the hearing procedures adopted by the Appraisal Review Board members.

How are the San Jacinto County Appraisal Review Board members appointed?

  • The board of directors of each appraisal district appoints the review board members.

What qualifications must an individual meet to serve on the ARB?

  • An individual must be a resident of the appraisal district for two or more years before taking office. No special requirements are necessary. An individual may not serve if he or she is an appraisal district director or an employee or officer of an appraisal district, tax office, or Comptroller’s office. Also, an individual is ineligible to serve in counties having a population of more than 100,000 until the fourth anniversary of the date the person ceased to serve as a member or officer of a taxing unit for which the appraisal district appraises property or if the person has ever appeared before the review board for compensation. Finally, an individual cannot serve if he or she is closely related (second degree by blood or marriage) to an individual paid as a tax agent or is in the business of appraising property for tax purposes in the appraisal district. ARB members may not contract with the appraisal district or with a taxing unit in the district. This includes the member or a business entity in which the member has a substantial interest.

What is a residential homestead exemption?

  • A residential homestead exemption removes part of the value from the assessed value of your property and lowers your property taxes.

What exemptions are available to homeowners?

There are various types of exemptions available:

  • General Residential Homestead
  •  Age 65 or Older (commonly referred to as Over 65)
  • Over-55 Surviving Spouse of a Person Who Received an Over 65
  • Disabled Person
  • 100% Disabled Veteran’s Homestead and Surviving Spouses
  • Service-Connected Disabled Veteran and Surviving Spouses (not limited to residence homestead)

Do all homes qualify for a homestead exemption?

  • No. Only a homeowner’s principal residence qualifies. To qualify, a home must meet the definition of a residence homestead. The home’s owner must be an individual (for example: not a corporation or other business entity) and occupy the home as his or her principal residence on January 1 of the tax year.

What qualifies as a homestead?

  • A homestead is a structure (including a condominium or a manufactured home) that is designed and occupied for use as a residence. A homestead can include up to 20 acres of land, if the land is owned by the homeowner and used for residential purposes.

Can I qualify for a homestead exemption if there are other owners other than my spouse listed on my property?

  • Yes. However, if you qualify for a homestead exemption and are not the sole owner of the property to which the homestead exemption applies, the exemption you receive is based on the interest you own. For example, if you own a 50 percent interest in a homestead, you will receive one-half, or $7,500, of a $15,000 homestead offered by a school district.

How do I apply for exemptions?

  • Exemption applications can be downloaded from our website. Applications are also available at the SJCAD office and may be picked up between 8:00AM and 5:00PM, M-F. You may have an application mailed to you by calling our office at 936-653-1450.

When should I file an application for a homestead exemption?

  • For a general exemption you should file your exemption application between January 1 and April 30. Early applications will not be accepted. For Over 65 or Disabled Person Exemptions; if you turn 65, become totally disabled or purchase a property during this year, you can apply to activate the Over 65 Exemption or Disabled Person Exemption for this year. You have one year from the date you qualify to apply for the exemptions for the tax year you first qualified. For example; if you turn 65 during the year you have until your 66th birthday to apply to receive the exemption for the tax year in which you turned 65.

What if I miss the deadline for filing for a homestead exemption?

  • You may file for a homestead up to one year from the date the taxes became delinquent for that tax year.

Do I apply for homestead exemptions annually?

  • Only a one-time application is required, unless a re-application is requested by the chief appraiser. A new application is required when a property owner’s residence homestead is changed.

If I temporarily move away, may I continue to receive the residence homestead exemption on my home?

  • If you temporarily move away from your home, you may continue to receive the exemption if:
  1. You do not establish a homestead residence elsewhere.
  2. You intend to return to the home and
  3. You are away less than two (2) years.
  4. If you are active in the military service and serving outside the United States or live in a facility providing services related to health, infirmity or aging, you may continue to receive the exemptions if you do not occupy the residence and you intend to return to it.

What is a homestead cap value?

  • Cap value applies to residential homesteads only and it goes into effect the second year after a residential homestead exemption has been granted for your residence. If the property is your residence homestead, the appraised value may not exceed the lesser of the market value of the property or the sum of:
  • Cap value applies to residential homesteads only. If this property is your residence homestead, the appraised value may not exceed the lesser of the market value of the property or the sum of:
  1. 10 percent of the appraised value of the property for the preceding tax year;
  2. the appraised value of the property for the preceding year; and
  3. the market value of all new improvements to the property.

Is it true that once I become 65 years of age, I will not have to pay any more taxes?

  • No, that is not necessarily true. The year you turn 65 you may receive the Over 65 Exemption in addition to the General Residential Homestead Exemption. The amount of the exemptions that are granted by each taxing entity is subtracted from the appraised value of your residence and the taxes are calculated on that “lower value”.

Do both my spouse and I have to be over 65 years of age to qualify for the Over 65 Exemption?

  • No. Only one of you needs to be over 65 years of age to qualify for this exemption. Once this exemption is granted, if the qualifying spouse dies, then the exemption would remain in effect for the remaining spouse if the survivor is 55 years of age or older and has ownership in the home. All tax ceilings remain in effect for as long as the spouse lives in the home. The surviving spouse needs to contact the appraisal district office in order to continue receiving the exemption.

I am a disabled person. How do I qualify for a Disabled Person Exemption?

  • You are eligible for this exemption if you are unable to engage in gainful work because of a physical or mental disability or you are 55 years old and blind and are unable to engage in your previous work because of the blindness. To qualify, you must meet the Social Security definition for disabled. You qualify if you receive disability benefits under the Federal Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Program administered by the Social Security Administration. Disability benefits from any other program do not automatically qualify you. To prove your eligibility, you may need to provide the appraisal district with information on disability ratings from the civil service, retirement programs, or from insurance documents, military records, or a doctor’s statement.

Can I receive both the Over 65 Exemption and the Disabled Person Exemption?

  • No, you may not claim both exemptions in the same tax year.

What is the Over 65 or Disabled Person tax ceiling?

  • If you qualify for an Over 65 Exemption or a Disabled Person Exemption for school taxes, the school taxes on that home cannot increase as long as you own and live in that home. The tax ceiling is the amount the owner pays in the year that he or she qualified for whichever exemption was applied for. The school taxes on that home may go below the ceiling, but the school taxes will not be more than the amount of the ceiling. If the homeowner improves the home (other than normal repairs or maintenance), the tax ceiling is adjusted for the new additions. For example, if an owner adds on a garage or game room to the house, the tax ceiling will change.

Does the tax ceiling remain the same if the over 65 or disabled person homeowner moves to another home?

  • No. However, the property owner that is receiving the Over 65 Exemption or the Disabled Person Exemption may transfer the “percentage” of their tax ceiling to a different home in the same or another school district anywhere in the State of Texas. The ceiling on the new home would be calculated to give the homeowner the same percentage of tax paid as the ceiling on the original home. For example: If a homeowner currently has a tax ceiling of $100, but would pay $400 without the ceiling, the percentage of tax paid is 25 percent. If the homeowner moves to another home and the taxes on the new homestead would normally be $1,000 in the first year, the new tax ceiling would be $250 or 25 percent of $1,000.

I am a disabled veteran. Am I entitled to any property tax exemptions?

  • There are two different exemptions available to disabled veterans. There is a partial Disabled Veteran Exemption that is available if you are either a service connected disabled veteran who was disabled while serving with the U.S. armed forces, or the surviving spouse of a service-connected disabled veteran. You must be a Texas resident, must provide documentation from the Veteran’s Administration reflecting the percentage of your service-connected disability, and your disability rating must be at least ten percent (10%). There is also a 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption you may qualify for on your resident homestead if you have a service-connected disability rating of 100% or individual un-employability from the Veteran’s Administration and you receive 100% disability compensation from the VA. If you qualify for this exemption, 100% of the value of your residence homestead will be exempted. You may apply for this exemption anytime during the year in which you qualify. The surviving spouse of a 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption may continue this exemption if the deceased veteran qualified for the exemption on the residence in the year they died.

What is the amount of the partial Disabled Veteran’s Exemption?

  • The exemption amount that a qualified disabled veteran receives depends on the veteran’s disability rating from the branch of the armed service:

Disability Rating Exemption Amount:

•             10% to 29% = $5,000 from the property’s value

•             30% to 49% = $7,500 from the property’s value

•             50% to 69% = $10,000 from the property’s value

•             70% to 100% = $12,000 from the property’s value

  • The disabled veteran must be a Texas resident and must choose one property to receive the exemption for all property tax purposes.

Is the disabled veteran’s exemption the same as the disabled person’s exemption?

  • No. To receive a disabled veteran exemption, you must either be a veteran who was disabled while serving with the U.S. armed forces or the surviving spouse or child (under 18 years of age and unmarried) of a disabled veteran or of a member of the armed forces who was killed while on active duty. In order to qualify for a disabled person exemption, you must be unable to engage in gainful work because of physical or mental disability or you are 55 years old and blind and can’t engage in your previous work because of your blindness. If you receive disability benefits under the federal Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Program administered by the Social Security Administration, you will qualify for the disabled person exemption.

Is there a fee associated with filing for an exemption?

  • There is never a fee involved in applying for an exemption with the appraisal district. This is a free service for all taxpayers.

What is “Homestead Cap Loss”?

  • Your residence homestead is protected from future appraisal value increase in excess of 10% per year from the date of the last appraisal plus the value of any new improvements.