A buyer of mine saw the taxes for a home he is interested in listed as over $5300, and said, "Is this correct? Will I have to pay $5300/year?!" and my response was, "$5300 is the current amount WITHOUT a homestead exemption." So, if you are buying a home to lease out, then you would pay the full $5300.
However, if you plan to live in the property, you will want to file a homestead exemption!
The following information is compiled from the Harris County website www.hcad.org as of 12/5/19.
Property Tax Exemptions for Homeowners
A homestead exemption helps you save on taxes on your home. An exemption removes part of the value of your property from taxation and lowers your taxes. Just as an example, if your home is valued to be worth $200,000 and you qualify for a $40,000 exemption, you pay taxes on your home as if it was worth only $160,000.
What Types of Homestead Exemptions Are Available?
School taxes — all homeowners. If you qualify for the homestead exemption,
you will receive at least a $25,000 homestead exemption on the value of your
home for school district taxes.
County taxes — all homeowners. Harris County currently provides a 20%
optional homestead exemption to all homeowners.
Optional exemptions — all homeowners. Any taxing unit, including
a school district, city, county or special district, may offer an exemption
for up to 20% of your home's value. The amount of an optional exemption
can't be less than $5,000, no matter what the percentage is. For example, if
your home is valued at $20,000 and your city offers a 20% optional
exemption, your exemption is $5,000, even though 20% of $20,000
is just $4,000. The governing body of each taxing unit decides whether
it will offer the exemption and at what percentage. This percentage
exemption is added to any other homestead exemption for which
the applicant qualifies.
You should file your regular residential homestead exemption application between January 1 and April 30. Early applications will not be accepted. If your application is postmarked by April 30, this will allow the district time to process it before your tax statement comes out in the fall.
For more information or questions regarding Harris County taxes, please call (713) 957-7800.