Bettencourt On Property Taxes: The Cavalry is Coming Over The Hill For Texas Homesteaders - CandysDirt.com (2023)

Bettencourt On Property Taxes: The Cavalry is Coming Over The Hill For Texas Homesteaders - CandysDirt.com (1)

Property taxes are one of the largest expenses homeowners face, and some Dallas County residents say rising appraisals are going to make their tax bills unbearable.

As property valuations go up, so do the corresponding tax bills, leading more than 201,000 Dallas residents to file protests this year arguing that, for example, the appraised value is too high, they weren’t offered the proper exemptions, or their home is valued unequally with other comparable properties, according to the Dallas Central Appraisal District’s Director of Community Relations Cheryl Jordan.

Once the home valuations are on the books, the only mitigating factor to ensure the tax bill is affordable when it arrives in the mailbox in October is the tax rate, set by school districts, county government, city government, hospitals, colleges, and special districts.

There’s good news on that front, according to Texas Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston.

“The cavalry is coming over the hill for the Texas homesteader, just like a John Wayne movie,” Bettencourt said.

Bettencourt On Property Taxes: The Cavalry is Coming Over The Hill For Texas Homesteaders - CandysDirt.com (2)

Based on Propositions 1 and 2, which passed in May, and what Bettencourt refers to as the “blockbuster” Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 3, recently revised to remove disaster declaration caveats, “you’re going to get tax relief this year,” the senator said.

“I think people are going to be astonished when they get their tax bills and see what happened,” Bettencourt said. “The appraisals were so high, everybody was ready to jump off the cliff. This is going to be a very important property tax year. All our reforms have hit. As values go up, tax rates will tumble. It could be as much as a 10-penny [decrease]. The average homestead tax bills will be down year to year.”

Residents will absolutely see a decrease in the rate assessed by local school districts, Bettencourt added.

“That’s big news,” he said. “That’s the silver lining in this appraisal cloud. The higher relief is coming from the schools because the state is paying for it.”

Thou Doth Protest Too Much

The deadline to protest has passed, and numerous homeowners have been offered settlements. Some Appraisal Review Board hearings are still pending. Taxing jurisdictions will set the new rates in September, and tax bills typically are issued on Oct. 1.

Dallas’s tax rate is 77.33 cents per $100 assessed valuation — one of the highest rates in the state behind Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.

Dallas County’s property tax rate is 22.79 cents per $100 assessed valuation; Collin County’s property tax rate is 19.22 cents per $100 assessed valuation; Denton County’s is 23.30 cents per $100 assessed valuation, and Tarrant County’s rate is 21.35 cents per $100 assessed valuation.

Taxes on a $500,000 home in Dallas are about $9,200. The tax rate dropped from 77.63 cents per $100 assessed valuation in the 2021 fiscal year.

Bettencourt On Property Taxes: The Cavalry is Coming Over The Hill For Texas Homesteaders - CandysDirt.com (3)

While homestead exemptions of about $115,500 are available for residents over 65, tax bills are still causing residents to question whether they can afford their homes.

“If you own your home, you pay a percentage of what your home is worth in property taxes, based on a rate set by City Council,” according to information published on the city website. “If you rent your home, the landlord probably includes that amount in your rent payment. In Dallas, only about 30 percent of all money from property taxes is used to pay for city services. The rest of the money goes to other organizations, like the school district, community colleges, or hospitals, to pay for the services they offer. Of the money that does go to the City, about three-fourths is used for general fund services, and about one-fourth is used to pay back money we’ve borrowed for projects like building recreation centers or libraries. Just like with a car loan or a credit card, the city uses debt to spread the cost of large projects over several years, instead of paying 100 percent up front.”

Bettencourt On Property Taxes: The Cavalry is Coming Over The Hill For Texas Homesteaders - CandysDirt.com (4)

Dallas City Council

Council members expressed interest in lowering the overall city tax rate during a June 8 meeting during which a tax exemption increase for senior citizens and people with disabilities was unanimously approved. The measure allows senior citizens an 8 percent increase in the amount they can slash their tax bill, from $107,000 to $115,500.

Councilwoman Cara Mendelsohn, chair of the government performance and financial management committee said the city budget process, which will start next month, is the best chance to make a significant reduction in property taxes for all residents. She commended the panel for approving the increase in senior tax exemptions.

“High property taxes can make it difficult for anyone, but there’s a recognition that seniors and people with disabilities, many who are on a fixed income, are unable to absorb into their budget the property value increases we’re seeing in Dallas,” Mendelsohn said. “This exemption increase, which will mean a reduction in their property tax, can mean the difference between being able to afford groceries or prescription medication.”

Last year, the city council changed financial management performance criteria to require an annual look at this particular exemption rate and assess if it should be increased.

“We didn’t just look at the increase in property value, but also considered if cost-of-living increases should be a basis for an increase in the exemption,” Mendelsohn said. “It’s my hope that the council will support … the mayor’s directive to the committee to look at ways to lower the tax burden and make Dallas more competitive with surrounding cities.”

The District 12 councilwoman alluded to an effort to reduce property tax bills for all Dallas residents when the matter comes before the governing body later this summer.

“I hope this is just our first step and our council will take the next steps in August and September to significantly reduce the tax rate for all Dallas residents,” she said. “This will be an important way we keep rents affordable, keep people on the margin housed, and encourage people to choose Dallas as their place to live.”

The upcoming budget will remain elevated by American Rescue Plan Act funds, Mendelsohn added. Reducing the tax rate would erase the financial pain of residents and set the city on a course to innovate and re-imagine efficiency, she said.

Several council members at the June 8 meeting spoke about the importance of providing tax relief.

“We at the city council have the ability and we have, in my opinion, the fiduciary responsibility to protect our most vulnerable citizens, because we’re the only ones who can do it in a lot of situations,” said District 1 Councilman Chad West, who called tax raises unjustified and harsh. “As DCAD continues to aggressively raise our property taxes across the city, we as a city need to do everything we can to protect our most vulnerable neighbors, and that certainly includes our seniors.”

District 14 Councilman Paul Ridley also supported the tax break for seniors and said he hoped that initiative would extend to the discussion of setting tax rates in the fall.

“The unprecedented increase in appraised values of everyone’s real estate over 20 percent just in the last year creates a burden on everyone,” Ridley said.

How Much Are My Taxes?

Steve Levine owns a home on Glenwood Avenue with an appraised value of about $1.7 million. Following an online protest hearing, Levine negotiated that number down to about $1.65 million.

“That’s fine; my whole thing is not fighting my assessment,” Levine said. “It seems like the county and the city need to be letting people know what their tax bills are going to be. [Residents are] going to get a tax bill in October and not everyone is going to be able to pay it. The people at DCAD are very gracious, but DCAD doesn’t set the tax rate.”

In the Northern Hills neighborhood, the 64 single-family homes are about 20 percent new construction and 20 percent are about 100 years old. The remaining homes have effectively been rebuilt. A comparable home two lots away from Levine’s was assessed at $1.3 million.

“It’s difficult for appraisers to assess” because construction throughout the neighborhood is not identical, Levine explained.

Bettencourt On Property Taxes: The Cavalry is Coming Over The Hill For Texas Homesteaders - CandysDirt.com (6)

The value is calculated at about $105 per square foot of land, even though the homes are not created equal, he added. Based on the legislation passed in 2019 and recently revised by Bettencourt and others, a taxing entity must get approval from voters if they want to raise the property tax they collect from all property owners by 3.5 percent or more than the previous year.

Bettencourt said the taxing entities could ask for that voter approval in the form of a bond issue, but those can be difficult to pass as residents already are trying to find ways to make ends meet.

“For county and city tax rolls, as values go up, it forces the rates down to get tax relief,” Bettencourt explained. “The combination of [SB2 and HB3] has already saved taxpayers $6 billion. The values going up aren’t as critical anymore because if your value goes up, it’s offset by tax bill reductions.”

Levine said he’s concerned about homeowners who will get their bills in October and may be blindsided by the figure they owe, particularly those working with a loan institution.

“For someone who pays their taxes monthly with their house payment, they need to know what the rate is going to be,” he said.

Residents can look up information about their home valuation at DallasCAD.org.

What’s Next

Tax expert Patrick Melton at Texas Tax Protests has produced numerous case studies showing residents how they can negotiate a lower tax bill.

“In Texas, home prices have increased at unprecedented rates due to factors such as low inventory, supply chain shortages, and an influx of out-of-state residents moving to Texas,” said Nicole Griffeth, lead marketing strategist for Texas Tax Protest. “If you don’t protest, your assessed value will continue to increase year after year until it catches up to your market value. The coming 2023 property tax protest season will be one of the most important times to appeal in the last decade.”

Bettencourt On Property Taxes: The Cavalry is Coming Over The Hill For Texas Homesteaders - CandysDirt.com (7)

But even though hundreds of thousands have gone the protest route, the Dallas City Council expects it will still hear from residents seeking relief when budget hearings ramp up next month.

“As we move forward, it’s going to be very important that we educate our communities on taxes and how they are utilized in this city,” said District 4 Councilwoman Carolyn King Arnold in the June 8 council meeting. “I know no one wants to pay taxes, but we do know there are two things certain in life, and that’s taxes and death. We’re going to have to pay some taxes to create the services. As we talk about the budget, then we will have the conversation around reduction in taxes and tax rates, but we also need to educate, so as we take a stand on certain positions, understand that a reduction in taxes sometimes also means a reduction in services. We need to be very targeted and intentional as we craft the budget based on equity, that those who are underserved are not hit harder. We’re going to continue to fight for our seniors and for [all] citizens as well.”

FAQs

At what age do seniors stop paying property taxes in Texas? ›

For many senior homeowners, rising property taxes can be a threat to their financial stability, even though their mortgages may be paid off. The Texas Tax Code, Section 33.06, allows taxpayers 65 years of age or older to defer their property taxes until their estates are settled after death.

How much can property tax increase in Texas with homestead exemption? ›

Under state law, the taxable value of an owner's primary residence can't rise more than 10% in a given year if they have a homestead exemption.

Do seniors pay less property taxes in Texas? ›

For persons age 65 or older or disabled, Tax Code Section 11.13(c) requires school districts to provide an additional $10,000 residence homestead exemption. Tax Code Section 11.13(d) allows any taxing unit to adopt a local option residence homestead exemption. This local option exemption cannot be less than $3,000.

How can I avoid high property taxes in Texas? ›

There are generally two ways that Texas homeowners can reduce their property taxes, through tax exemptions or protesting their property's assessed value. Tax Code Section 25.18 states that all appraisal districts must complete appraisals on every property in their district at least every three years.

How much do property taxes go down when you turn 65 in Texas? ›

Seniors qualify for an added $10,000 in reduced property value. Additionally, all taxing districts can offer optional percentage exemptions of up to 20% of the home's value or at least $5,000. Optional percentage exemptions for seniors may also be available from taxing districts. These exemptions start at $3,000.

How long can you not pay property taxes in Texas? ›

If the lien is not satisfied within a reasonable amount of time, the lienholder has the right to foreclose on the property. The period in which this occurs can range from 60 days to more than 120 days. It all depends on the taxing authority and local market conditions.

Can someone take your property by paying the taxes in Texas? ›

Share on: In Texas, you cannot assume ownership of someone else's property by simply paying the balance of unpaid property taxes. However, you can purchase real estate, often at a discounted rate, at a tax foreclosure sale.

What is the Texas homestead cap? ›

School taxes: All residence homestead owners are allowed a $40,000 residence homestead exemption from their home's value for school taxes. County taxes: If a county collects a special tax for farm-to-market roads or flood control, a residence homestead is allowed to receive a $3,000 exemption for this tax.

How often can property taxes be raised in Texas? ›

Each appraisal district determines the value of all taxable property within the county boundaries. Tax Code Section 25.18 requires appraisal districts to reappraise all property in its jurisdiction at least once every three years.

At what age do seniors stop paying taxes? ›

There is no age when a senior gets to stop filing a tax return, and most seniors are required to file taxes. The taxpayer's taxable income determines whether a tax return is required. The rules for seniors are slightly different than those for people under the age of 65.

What county in Texas has the lowest property taxes? ›

Five of the Lowest Property Taxes in Texas by County in 2019
  • Kenedy County Texas: $200. ...
  • Borden County Texas: $364. ...
  • Ward County Texas: $457. ...
  • Kent County Texas: $560. ...
  • Terrell County Texas: $530.
28 May 2021

What age do you stop paying taxes on Social Security? ›

What Age Do You Stop Paying Taxes on Social Security? You can stop paying taxes on Social Security at 65 years old as long as your income is not high.

Why is Texas property taxes so high? ›

The fundamental reason that property taxes are so high is that Texas does not have a state income tax; it's one of only seven states in the nation without one. Instead, we pay for government through two main sources of revenue: sales tax and property tax.

What is the homestead exemption in Texas for over 65? ›

What is the property tax exemption for over 65? Homeowners aged 65 years or older qualify for this exemption. All homeowners aged 65 years or older qualify for a standard $25,000 homestead exemption. Other than this, the Texas school districts offer a $10,000 exemption for qualifying homeowners aged over 65.

Do you have to pay income tax after age 75? ›

There's no set age at which the IRS says you no longer have to file income tax returns or pay income taxes, and it's not as though you reach an age that absolves you of your tax bill.

Who is exempt from paying property taxes in Texas? ›

The Residence Homestead, Tax Code Section 11.13, is by far the most common property tax exemption in Texas and covers the following exemptions: General Residence Homestead. Age 65 or Older or Disabled. Manufactured and Cooperative Housing.

How do you lose your homestead exemption in Texas? ›

The Texas Constitution guarantees the only way a person can lose his or her homestead rights is by death abandonment sale of property or foreclosure of a lien against the homestead.

What state has the lowest property taxes for retirees? ›

#1: South Dakota

Tax-wise, South Dakota is one of the best states for retirees. In addition to no state income tax, retired homeowners may also qualify for the state's property tax relief programs.

What happens if you don't pay property taxes on land in Texas? ›

If you don't pay, your taxing district could place a tax lien against your property. The lien is the overdue amount, plus interest and penalties. According to Texas Tax Code § 33.41, your local taxing authority can actually start the foreclosure process in court at any time once you're late with your property tax.

What happens if you can't pay property tax Texas? ›

If you don't pay off the overdue amounts or have a valid defense against the foreclosure, the court will enter a judgment, and your property will be sold to a new owner at an auction. If the home doesn't sell at the tax sale, it will be "struck-off" to the county, which means the county gets the property.

What happens when you don't pay property taxes? ›

When you don't pay your property taxes, the taxing authority could sell your home—or its lien on the property—to satisfy your debt. Or, your mortgage lender might pay the taxes and then bill you. If you fail to reimburse the mortgage lender, it might foreclose your home.

How do I claim abandoned land in Texas? ›

Once the personal property is considered abandoned under the law, it must be reported to the Texas Comptroller. Texans can search for unclaimed property in their name through the Texas Comptroller's website and submit a claim.

What is squatters rights law in Texas? ›

The Squatter Must Have Resided on the Property for a Continuous Period of Time. In Texas, this period is 10 years. This time must not be interrupted. In other words, they cannot file for an adverse possession if they, for example, give up the property for a while and then return to claim it later.

Who is responsible for paying property taxes when owner dies Texas? ›

This person is called a “legal representative.” The executor or legal representative will be responsible for paying your property taxes out of your estate for as long as the home remains part of your estate.

Who qualifies for Texas homestead exemption? ›

You are eligible for a homestead exemption if you (1) own your home (partial ownership counts), (2) the home is your principal residence, and (3) you have a Texas driver's license or Texas-issued personal identification certificate (your I.D. card address must match your principal residence address).

What is the new homestead exemption in Texas? ›

A new law effective January 1, 2022, provides property-tax relief by allowing homebuyers to file for homestead exemptions in the year when they purchase the property, provided it is their primary residence. Previously, new homeowners had to wait until the following year to file for the exemption.

How do I fill out the homestead exemption in Texas 2022? ›

First, fill out the application specific to your County Appraisal District, then mail all of the documents to the Appraisal District for your County.
  1. FILL OUT THE RESIDENTIAL HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION APPLICATION FOR YOUR COUNTY. DOWNLOAD RESIDENCE HOMESTEAD FORMS. ...
  2. INCLUDE A COPY OF YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE OR IDENTIFICATION CARD.

Who has the highest property taxes in Texas? ›

Rankings
RankCityEffective Property Tax Rate
1.Milwaukee, Wisconsin2.17%
2.El Paso, Texas2.13%
3.Fort Worth, Texas1.86%
4.San Antonio, Texas1.85%
7 more rows

Is California property tax higher than Texas? ›

Despite its ranking as the 3rd most expensive state to live in, California's effective property tax rate of 0.76% is lower than both Texas' property tax rate of 1.80% and the national average property tax rate of 1.07%.

What state has the highest property tax? ›

States Ranked By Property Tax
RankStateAnnual Property Tax
1Hawaii$606
2Alabama$895
3Colorado$1,113
4Louisiana$1,187
47 more rows
2 Jun 2022

Is there really a $16728 Social Security bonus? ›

You can receive as much as a $16,728 bonus or more every year. A particular formula will determine the money you'll receive in your retirement process. You must know the hacks for generating higher future payments.

What deductions are taken out of Social Security checks? ›

Part of your payment may be withheld for:
  • Medicare Premium payments,
  • Overpayment of Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits,
  • Excess earnings,
  • Voluntary income tax withholding,
  • Payment of your appointed representative.

How much can a retired person earn without paying taxes in 2022? ›

In 2022, this limit on your earnings is $51,960.

The special rule lets us pay a full Social Security benefit for any whole month we consider you retired, regardless of your yearly earnings.

Where in Texas is there no property tax? ›

The City of Stafford holds the unique distinction of being the largest city in Texas to abolish city property taxes. This includes both commercial and residential properties. In addition to a lack of city property taxes, the State of Texas has no state property taxes.

How much are property taxes on a $200000 house in Texas? ›

At the 2.18 percent tax rate, the owner of a $200,000 home in Texas paid $4,360 in property taxes a year, on average.

What city in Texas has lowest property taxes? ›

Here are the five DFW-area suburbs with the lowest total property tax rates, in order from low to high:
  • Roanoke 2.1%
  • Frisco - 2.18%
  • Plano - 2.18% ...
  • Grand Prairie - 2.92%
  • Rowlett - 2.89%
  • Coppell - 2.71%
  • Irving - 2.68%
  • Richardson - 2.67%
20 Sept 2021

What is this Social Security bonus? ›

For every year that you delay claiming past full retirement age, your monthly benefits will get an 8% “bonus.” That amounts to a whopping 24% if you wait to file until age 70.

Can you get Social Security if you never worked? ›

The only people who can legally collect benefits without paying into Social Security are family members of workers who have done so. Nonworking spouses, ex-spouses, offspring or parents may be eligible for spousal, survivor or children's benefits based on the qualifying worker's earnings record.

When a husband dies does the wife get his Social Security? ›

Survivors Benefit Amount

Widow or widower, full retirement age or older — 100% of the deceased worker's benefit amount. Widow or widower, age 60 — full retirement age — 71½ to 99% of the deceased worker's basic amount. Widow or widower with a disability aged 50 through 59 — 71½%.

Who is exempt from paying property taxes in Texas? ›

The Residence Homestead, Tax Code Section 11.13, is by far the most common property tax exemption in Texas and covers the following exemptions: General Residence Homestead. Age 65 or Older or Disabled. Manufactured and Cooperative Housing.

At what age do you not have to pay school taxes in Texas? ›

Age 65 or older and disabled exemptions: Individuals age 65 or older or disabled residence homestead owners qualify for a $10,000 residence homestead exemption for school district taxes, in addition to the $40,000 exemption for all homeowners.

Are school taxes frozen at 65 in Texas? ›

In Texas, a property owner over the age of 65 can't freeze all property taxes. However, they do have the option of applying for a tax ceiling exemption which will freeze the amount of property taxes paid to the school district.

What tax breaks do you get when you turn 65? ›

Increased Standard Deduction

When you're over 65, the standard deduction increases. The specific amount depends on your filing status and changes each year. For the 2021 tax year, seniors get a tax deduction of $14,250 (this increases in 2022 to $14,700).

At what age can you stop paying taxes? ›

There is no age when a senior gets to stop filing a tax return, and most seniors are required to file taxes. The taxpayer's taxable income determines whether a tax return is required. The rules for seniors are slightly different than those for people under the age of 65.

Can someone take your property by paying the taxes in Texas? ›

Share on: In Texas, you cannot assume ownership of someone else's property by simply paying the balance of unpaid property taxes. However, you can purchase real estate, often at a discounted rate, at a tax foreclosure sale.

Who qualifies for Texas homestead exemption? ›

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 use the home as his or her principal residence on Jan. 1 of the tax year. An age 65 or older or disabled exemption is effective as of Jan.

What county in Texas has the lowest property taxes? ›

Five of the Lowest Property Taxes in Texas by County in 2019
  • Kenedy County Texas: $200. ...
  • Borden County Texas: $364. ...
  • Ward County Texas: $457. ...
  • Kent County Texas: $560. ...
  • Terrell County Texas: $530.
28 May 2021

How do you lose your homestead exemption in Texas? ›

The Texas Constitution guarantees the only way a person can lose his or her homestead rights is by death abandonment sale of property or foreclosure of a lien against the homestead.

Do you have to pay income tax after age 75? ›

There's no set age at which the IRS says you no longer have to file income tax returns or pay income taxes, and it's not as though you reach an age that absolves you of your tax bill.

Which states have the lowest property taxes for seniors? ›

States with No Property Tax for Seniors
  • Hawaii.
  • Mississippi.
  • New Hampshire.
  • New York.
  • South Carolina.
  • South Dakota.
  • Texas.
  • Washington.

Is Texas tax friendly for retirees? ›

Texas is a tax-friendly state, as it does not have an income tax. As a result, Social Security retirement benefits, pension income, retirement account income and all other forms of retirement income are not taxed at the state level in Texas.

Do senior citizens pay taxes? ›

Income-tax Act, 1961 provides no exemption to senior citizen or very senior citizen from filing of return of income. However, to provide relief to the senior citizens (whose age is 75 years or more) and to reduce the compliance burden on them, the Finance Act, 2021, has inserted a new section 194P.

How much can a retired person earn without paying taxes in 2022? ›

In 2022, this limit on your earnings is $51,960.

The special rule lets us pay a full Social Security benefit for any whole month we consider you retired, regardless of your yearly earnings.

What is the elderly credit? ›

Generally, the elderly or disabled tax credit ranges between $3,750 and $7,500; it is 15% of the initial amount, less the total of nontaxable social security benefits and certain other nontaxable pensions, annuities, or disability benefits you've received.

How much money can a senior citizen make before paying taxes? ›

For tax year 2021, unmarried seniors will typically need to file a return if: you are at least 65 years of age, and. your gross income is $14,250 or more.

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