Land Property Tax in Texas
May 18, 2012
Property taxes are a significant part of the overall cost of owning a home or tract of land in Texas. The state has no income tax, so property taxes carry a heavy load when it comes to funding public schools and city and county budgets. If you’re considering buying land in Texas, here is what you need to know about the state’s property taxes.
How property taxes are determined: If you’re a Texan, or you own property in the state, there are two components used to determine how much property tax you owe: the value of your home or land and the tax rate. Your county appraisal district has the responsibility of appraising your home. The appraisal district bases that value on the location, size, and features of your home, as well as recent sales prices of similar properties in your neighborhood. To calculate what you owe, you need to know the assessed property value of both the land and house. Remember, this amount is not what you paid for the land and home but the amount at which the tax assessor has valued them.
Appraisal: Obviously the appraisal of your property factors heavily into the amount you owe in taxes. Once you’ve qualified for a homestead exemption, your taxable value can’t go up more than 10% in a year, unless you’ve made improvements to the property. While appraisals generally go up, they can go down in years when market values have decreased.
Exemptions: You may qualify for one or more exemptions that lower your appraised value, and, thus, the tax you owe. You automatically qualify for a homestead exemption on your principal residence. However, you must file for the exemption. A homestead exemption lowers the taxed property value. For example, a $150,000 property with a $15,000 homestead exemption for your school district will be taxed as if it were valued at $135,000. There are also exemptions available for homeowners 65 and older, homeowners with disabilities, and disabled veterans.
Whether you’re ready to begin custom building a home, or are looking for acreage for later development, Texas Homesites can show you land for sale in Texas. Land tax benefits are one of the many reasons now is a great time to buy land in Texas. For more information, find Texas Homesites on Facebook and Twitter today.