An exemption reduces the value of your property via taxation. As a result, you pay lower taxes. For example, if your home is valued at $100,000 and you qualify for a $10,000 exemption, you pay taxes as if your home’s value is $90,000. In most cases, exemptions are only allowed on your homestead. They do not apply to any other property you may own.
Here are some examples of Homestead Exemptions:
1) General Homestead
2) Over 65 Homestead
3) Disabled Person Homestead
4) Surviving Spouse (of someone with Over 65 or Disabled)
5) Disabled Veteran With 100% Disability
6) Disabled Veteran or Survivor (not limited to residence only)
To qualify for a General Homestead Exemption you must own your home on January 1 of the year you wish to apply. For example, if you purchased your home in March, you will have to wait until the following year to qualify. However, if you are 65 years or older, or are a qualifying disabled person, you do not need to own your home by January 1.
To qualify for a tax exemption the home must be your principal residence. If you have multiple homes, you only qualify for the home considered your main principal residence. Temporarily moving away is acceptable for up to two years. However, if another person lives in your home as you live somewhere else, you no longer qualify for an exemption.
Filing for an exemption is easier than you might think. There is no fee. You just need to receive and file an application from the Appraisal District. You can return the form after January 1, but no later than April 30. Once you have received a Homestead Exemption or a Disabled Veteran’s Exemption, you need not apply again unless the chief appraiser requests it, or your qualifications change.