How you can help keep Huntsville safe

If you are a new homeowner and you purchased your home on or before December 28, 2019, now is the time to file for your homestead exemption.

What is a homestead exemption? The homestead exemption is a removal of a portion of your home’s value for the purpose of taxation. A homestead exemption only applies to your primary residence. It provides you with a substantial discount on your property tax bill.

In Texas, you must file for your homestead exemption between January 1st and April 30th. Other exemptions can be filed during that time as well.

Homeowners may be eligible for the over 65 tax exemption, disability exemption, disabled veterans exemption or an agricultural exemption.

The over 65 exemption stops the tax rate when you reach 65. It freezes the taxes where they are for the remainder of the time that you live on the property. There are specific requirements to be eligible for the disability and disabled veterans exemptions.

Walker County allows for numerous agricultural exemptions. Property owners can apply for the timber exemption, hay exemption and wildlife exemption which includes endangered species and beekeeping. There is also an exemption for livestock and exotic animals.

As a new homeowner you will typically receive a letter in the mail reminding you to file for your homestead exemption. That is a great time to inquire about any other exemptions that you may be eligible for. Exemptions can provide a substantial discount on your annual property taxes.

In Huntsville, the taxing authority is the Walker County Appraisal District. You can go to their website to find details and forms to file for various exemptions. At the bottom of the page you will also find a form to protest your current property taxes if you believe that your home is valued too high by the appraisal district.

Daiquiri Beebe is a Huntsville resident and realtor for Abby Realty.