By John Hay
There is actually an ad-valorem tax benefit that awaits you when you turn 65. In addition to the General Residential Homestead Exemption available to most residential homeowners on primary residence properties, homeowners of at least age 65 may be entitled to an additional tax exemption commonly called the “Over 65 Exemption”.
To obtain such an exemption, the homeowner must apply for an application with the Central Appraisal District (CAD) of the county where the property is located. As a part of the Application for Residence Homestead Exemption, Form 50-114, the Over 65 designation carries similar requirements to prove qualification and also requires the signature to be notarized in many counties.
The application must be fully completed (even if you already have a Homestead Exemption on file). Some counties even have online filing options for easy use.
The application is a one-time cost-free filing and may be submitted on January 1 or later in the year where the owner turns age 65. When approved by the county, the Over 65 exemption results in a tax ceiling for certain ad valorem assessed taxes…and in many jurisdictions this includes the school district taxes which typically make up the largest portion of property taxes.
However, if you remodel, add square footage or a garage or complete other significant improvement, the ceilings may rise. It is also possible (and fairly easy) to transfer your Over 65 tax ceiling to a new property by filing a Request to Cancel/Port Exemptions form.
If you have any questions about residential property tax exemptions, including a possible extension of the Over 65 Exemption for the surviving spouse who is over 55 years of age when the older spouse passes away, please do not hesitate to call our office.