LUBBOCK, Texas — What is a general homestead exemption and how does it affect Lubbock homeowners?
“What that means is, that they will go in and they will take an amount off the value that you were being taxed at your tax assessment value on your school district taxes,” said Lubbock Association of REALTORS President, Donna Sue Clements.
Right now, if your home is valued at $200,000–with the current $40,000 exemption–your home would be taxed at $160,000. Lubbock’s Chief Appraiser Tim Radloff said some folks can receive even more of a boost.
“A person who is over the age of 65 or disabled, they will get an additional $10,000 exempted from taxation as well.,” said Radloff.
Most people apply for their homestead exemption when they buy a home. Clements said there are some things you need to have prepared when you file that application.
“Once you close and move into your new home, you want to make sure that you change your driver’s license and your legal resident address,” said Clements. [The appraisal district] will use that to verify that you’re living in the home and that that is your property.”
Even if applying for that exemption was something you forgot in the process of buying your home and moving, Radloff said you still can.
“Let’s say if you purchased your home last year and you don’t have a homestead exemption on it, you’d be able to come in today, apply for it, and we’d grant it for 2023 and forward,” said Radloff.
In November, voters will decide if the state can increase the homestead exemption from $40,000 to $100,000. If approved, it will help homeowners save money according to Texas realtors.
“The information that we have from Texas realtors is that this is around $1200 in property tax relief for the average Texan [per year], so this is a big deal,” said Clements.
However, Radloff said it’s important to keep in mind that although you may see decreases in some dollar amounts or tax rates, you’re not guaranteed a lower bill overall.
“You’re still going to pay taxes to the city, the county, the hospital district, the water district,” Radloff said. “There’s going to be people that see a tax payment decrease and then there’s going to be some that don’t.”
Regardless of how you feel about the amendment, both Clements and Radloff encourage residents to cast their vote on Proposition 4, and other items on the ballot. Early voting starts Monday, October 23, while Election Day isn’t until November 7.