An over 65 exemption is available to property owners the year they become 65 years old. By state law, this exemption is $25,000 for school districts. Other taxing units may adopt this exemption and determine its amount. This exemption also limits the amount of school taxes you will pay every year to the amount you paid the first or second year you qualified (whichever is lower). This limitation is known as a tax ceiling or tax freeze. So, if you turn 65 this year and qualify for this exemption, your school taxes will not increase above the tax ceiling as long as you do not add any improvements such as a garage or pool to your home. If you do add improvements to your home, the tax ceiling can increase. Tax ceilings are mandatory for school districts, however a county, city, or junior college may also limit taxes for individuals with this exemption if the governing body adopts a tax ceiling. Click here for a list of tax entities and the exemptions they have adopted.
If you are an over 65 homeowner and purchase or move into a different home in Texas, you may also transfer the same percentage of tax paid to a new qualified homestead. This is known as a ceiling transfer (Request to Cancel/Port Exemptions). It is possible to transfer your tax ceiling for county, city, or junior college taxes if they have adopted a tax ceiling and you move to another home within the same taxing unit.
If a homeowner claiming this exemption passes away and their spouse is 55 or older and continues to own the home, the spouse can continue to hold the exemptions and tax ceiling on the property.
To apply for this exemption, individuals must submit an application and proof of age. Acceptable proof includes a copy of the front side of your Texas driver’s license or Texas identification card. Surviving spouses must provide proof of age of the survivor and proof of death of the deceased spouse.