Elderly Texans have been taxed out of their homes but if one Lone Star State legislator has his way, anyone over 80-years of age would be exempt from property taxes.
Texas State Representative Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) filed House Bill 1473 last week. If passed, the legislation amends the Texas Tax Code to exempt anyone 80-years-old or older from having to pay any property taxes if they have owned their home for ten years or more.
“Owning your own home is the American dream,” said Bohac. “But sadly in Texas that dream is impossible to truly achieve because under our current property tax system, homeowners are forced to endlessly pay rising property taxes years after they’ve paid off their own home.”
The exemption would also extend automatically to a spouse after their partner dies.
For potential opponents to the bill, Bohac says that his bill ensures that public school funding is preserved. He vows that “School taxing jurisdictions will remain 100% whole by an appropriation of state revenue to fund this commitment to our senior citizens.”
“It’s time we stand up for our most seasoned taxpayers who have done their part to fund our public schools, counties and cities over the course of a lifetime,” added Bohac. “They deserve the peace of mind of knowing their home is truly their home. Their taxpayer duties are done. They’ve earned it.”
Rep. Bohac was first elected to serve in the Texas House in November 2002. He represents the west Houston communities of Spring Branch, Bear Creek, Katy and Cy-Fair.
Texans over 65-years-old have an automatic exemption if they fill out form 50-114. However, the exemption only works to cut the assessed value on the home, for example if your home is worth $120,000, seniors are still taxed on a $110,000 valuation for a $10,000 school property tax exemption.