This trick can help you save on property taxes

HOUSTON

Houston's booming housing market is behind a huge spike in home values and if you do not have a homeowners exemption it means you are paying way more than you have to.

Frankie and Sarah Barrett drove from Tomball to the Harris County Appraisal District's offices in Houston to make sure the homeowner's exemption is in place for their new home.

"I think it's important because it will get your taxes lowered," Barrett said.

In fact, a homeowner's exemption is the single easiest way to cut your tax liability and it is free to get. But not everyone has it.

"It is really surprising that you find a lot of people across all economic spectrums that are not aware of this and do not have in place," said Jack Barnett with the Harris County Appraisal District.

Barnett says the exemption caps property value increases at 10 percent each year and that alone can save money.

"What it will do is eliminate part of your property value from taxation," Barnett said.

If you do not have the exemption, there is an added benefit to getting it. It can be applied retroactively to last year so you'll get a refund if you overpaid.

Homeowners seeking the exemption can find the forms without much trouble on HCAD's website.

"We have tried to include everything that a property owner would need to be able to file any exemptions they have," Barnett said.

The deadline for filing for the homestead exemption is April 30.

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