Harris County commissioners vote to extend property tax exemptions

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Commissioners vote to extend property tax exemptions (KTRK)

Harris County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a set of property tax exemptions that will extend its current 20 percent exemption for all Harris Co. homeowners as well as its $160,000 exemption for homeowners who are over 65 years old or disabled.

The two exemptions combined effectively allow homeowners who are disabled or senior and whose home value is close to $200,000 or less to be exempt from property taxes from certain taxing entities, Harris Co. Judge Ed Emmett said.

The exemptions apply to taxes levied by Harris Co., Flood Control District, Harris County Hospital District and Port of Houston Authority tax bills.

The $160,000 exemption was first approved in 2008.

Emmett compared the county's exemption program to property tax relief measures proposed in the 85th Texas Legislative Session such as Senate Bill 2, which would have lowered the property tax revenue cap for cities and counties. SB 2 did not pass in the regular legislative session.

Emmett said he believed the Harris Co. exemption provides greater tax relief than the bill would have offered, since it effectively cuts out property taxes for most senior and disabled residents.

"I'm tired of this rhetoric about tax relief when this court has been providing tax relief for many years," Emmett said.

Harris Co.'s exemptions are also higher than several other metropolitan counties, including Dallas County, which offers a $69,000 exemption to senior and disabled homeowners, Emmet said.

This story comes from our partners at Community Impact Newspaper.

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