Homestead exemption is designed to protect the value of the homes of residents from property taxes, creditors and circumstances arising from the death of the spouse of the homeowner. There are three primary features that the exemption laws protect:
1. They prevent the forced sale of a home to meet the demands of creditors.
2. They provide the surviving spouse with shelter.
3. They provide an exemption from property taxes which can be applied to a home.
“Homestead” is defined as the one primary residence of a person, and no other exemption can be claimed on any other property anywhere, even outside the boundaries where the exemption is claimed.
A homestead exemption is most often only on a fixed dollar amount, such as the first $50,000 of the assessed value.
The following are a few of the available tax exemptions to claim on your tax return if your residence qualifies:
· School taxes: All residence homestead owners may receive a $15,000 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 owner may receive a $3,000 exemption for this tax.
· Age 65 or older and disabled exemptions: Individuals 65 and older and/or disabled residence homestead owners may qualify for a $10,000 homestead exemption for school taxes, in addition to the $15,000 exemption for all homeowners. If the owner qualifies for both the $10,000 exemption for 65 and older homeowners and the $10,000 exemption for disabled homeowners, the owner must choose one or the other for school taxes. The owner cannot receive both exemptions.
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