The Appraisal District also administers all exemptions, both homestead and absolute exemptions. A homestead exemption removes part of the value of your residence from taxation and lowers your taxes. In order to qualify for the homestead exemption, you must own your home as of January 1 of the tax year and use the home as your principal residence. If you have more than one house, you can only get exemptions for your main or principal residence. The amount of exemption granted by the taxing entities for each type of homestead exemption can be found under CURRENT TAX RATES on the REPORTS page. There are four types of homestead exemptions:
For all homeowners.
In addition to the general homestead exemption, once you become 65 years of age, you are entitled to the over-65 homestead exemption that exempts an additional amount from the value of your home. This exemption becomes effective on your date of birth and applies to the taxes for the entire year in which you turn 65. Please contact our office once you turn 65 to ensure that you are receiving this exemption.
Once you receive the over-65 homestead exemption, you get a tax ceiling for your school taxes. In addition, Jefferson County and the City of Port Arthur also grant a tax ceiling. The taxes on your home for the entities granting the tax ceiling cannot increase above the lesser of the amount of taxes you would have paid the year you turned 65 based on a full year with the over-65 exemption or the amount of taxes paid in the following year. Should you move into a new residence after turning 65, this tax ceiling is transferable. Please contact the Appraisal District for more information on this matter.
If your spouse who was receiving the over-65 homestead exemption dies, this exemption will transfer to the surviving spouse providing the spouse is 55 years of age or older and maintains ownership of the home. The surviving spouse must apply for this exemption.
A person with a disability may get an additional exemption. A "disability" means either (1) you cannot engage in gainful work because of a physical or mental disability or (2) you are 55 years of age, blind, and cannot 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.
Disability benefits from any other program do not automatically qualify you for this exemption. You may need information on disability ratings from the civil service, retirement programs or from insurance documents, military records, or a doctor’s statement.
You may receive the disability exemption in addition to the general homestead exemption but not in addition to the over-65 homestead exemption.
A tax ceiling is also offered on the disability exemption by the school districts, Jefferson County, and the City of Port Arthur, and it is transferable.
If you are a disabled veteran who receives from the US Department of Veteran Affairs (1) 100% disability compensation due to a service-connected disability; and (2) a rating of 100% disabled or of individual unemployability, you are entitled to an exemption from taxation of the total appraised value of your residence homestead. Beginning in 2012, this benefit has been extended to the surviving spouse upon the veteran's death with certain restrictions.
Another type of exemption granted is the disabled veteran exemption. You may qualify for this exemption if you are either (1) a veteran who was disabled while serving with the US armed forces or (2) the surviving spouse of 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. You must be a Texas resident. This exemption can be applied to any one property; the property does not need to be your homestead. This includes homesteads donated to disabled veterans by charitable organizations at no cost or not more than 50 percent of the good faith estimate of the homestead's market value. The amount of exemption is determined according to the percentage of service- connected disability. Contact the Appraisal District for additional information on this exemption.
The surviving spouse of a member of the US armed services who is killed in action is allowed a total (100 percent) property tax exemption on his or her residence if the surviving spouse has not remarried since the death of the armed services member.
The eligible surviving spouse of a first responder killed in the line of duty is allowed a total (100 percent) property tax exemption on his or her residence if the surviving spouse has not remarried since the death of the first responder.
You must use the District's application form. <Click Here> to print a homestead exemption application form.
Exemption applications, other than the over-65 homestead exemption, must be filed between January 1 and May 1 of each tax year. The over-65 homestead exemption can be filed once you turn 65 years of age. Once an application is granted, you do not need to file again unless requested by the District. Be sure to include a copy of your driver's license or state-issued personal identification card with your application. Provide all the information and the documentation request. For example, if you are claiming an Over-65 or Disability Homestead, you need to show proof of age or disability.
You may file late for a homestead exemption up to two years after the date the taxes would become delinquent and a disabled veteran's exemption up to five years after the date taxes would become delinquent. You will receive a new tax statement with a lower amount or a refund if you have already paid your taxes.
Your completed application may be mailed or scanned and emailed to our office by the deadline date.