January 22, 2021

Applying for Property Tax Exemption in Texas - what and how.

Texas offers a variety of exemptions from property taxes for property and property owners that qualify. These include several partial or total (absolute) exemptions from property appraised values.

Property is taxable unless the owner shows that it meets all legal requirements for a total or partial exemption. A partial exemption excludes a percentage or a fixed dollar amount of the value for taxation.

A property owner must apply for exemptions from property tax in most cases.

But first, who decides whether your property and/or you are eligible for the exemption or not?

Appraisal district chief appraisers determine whether or not property qualifies for an exemption.
But if unsatisfied, property owners have the right to appeal the chief appraiser’s exemption determinations, including the denial of an exemption. However, an individual property owner may not challenge the grant of an exemption to another property owner.
Taxing units may appeal the granting of an exemption to a particular property owner.
Know more about appealing or protesting your property's tax appraisal here.

What is included in an exemption application?

Exemption applications ask for information pertaining to the exemption issue. Most exemption qualification are based on one or more of the following:

  • The owner's eligibility for exemption.
  • The property's eligibility for exemption.
  • The property's use.

A property owner is expected to produce evidence to prove eligibility to claim the exemption.
Learn about the Types of Property Tax Exemptions you can claim in the state of Texas here.


Some tax exemptions require the property owner to file an application one time and others require the property owner to file an application annually. Most one-time exemptions allow the chief appraiser to request a new application to verify that a property or property owner remains eligible for the exemption.

Here is a list of property tax exemptions that require no application, annual application and one-time application unless requested by the chief appraiser.

No application required:

Tax Code SectionExemption
11.11Public Property
11.12Federal Exemptions
11.14Tangible Personal Property Not Producing Income
11.141Precious Metal Held in Precious Metal Depository
11.145Income-Producing Tangible Personal Property Having Value Less Than $500
11.146Mineral Interest Having Value of Less than $500
11.15Family Supplies
11.16Farm Products
11.161Implements of Husbandry
11.25Marine Cargo Containers Used Exclusively in International Commerce

Annual application required:

Tax Code SectionExemption
11.111Public Property Used to Provide Transitional Housing for Indigent Persons
11.1801Charity Care and Community Benefits Requirements for Charitable Hospital
11.181Charitable Organizations Improving Property for Low-Income Housing
11.1825Organizations Constructing for Rehabilitating Low-Income Housing: Property Not Previously Exempt (Note: See provisions of 11.1826)
11.184Organizations Engaged Primarily in Performing Charitable Functions (Note: Reapplication required every fifth tax year instead of annually.)
11.185Colonia Model Subdivision Program
11.23(b)-(g), (i), (k) or (l)Miscellaneous Exemptions: Federation of Women’s Clubs; Nature Conservancy of Texas; Congress of Parents and Teachers; Private Enterprise Demonstration Associations; Bison, Buffalo and Cattalo; Theater Schools; Community Service Clubs; Scientific Research Corporations; and Incomplete Improvements
11.24Historic Sites
11.251Tangible Personal Property Exempt
11.252Motor Vehicles Leased for Personal Use
11.253Tangible Personal Property in Transit
11.28Property Exempted from City Taxation by Agreement
11.311Landfill-Generated Gas Conversion Facilities
11.32Certain Water Conservation Initiatives

One-time application required, unless requested by the chief appraiser:

Tax Code SectionExemption
11.13Residence Homestead
11.131Residence Homestead of 100 Percent or Totally Disabled Veteran
11.132Donated Residence Homestead of Partially Disabled Veteran
11.133Residence Homestead of Surviving Spouse of Member of Armed Forces Killed in Action
11.184Residence Homestead of Surviving Spouse of First Responder Killed in Line of Duty
11.18Charitable Organizations
11.182Community Housing Development Organizations Improving Property for Low-Income and Moderate-Income Housing: Property Previously Exempt (Note: See provisions of 11.182(e)(3), 11.182(g) and 11.1826)
11.1827Community Land Trust
11.183Association Providing Assistance to Ambulatory Health Care Centers
11.19Youth Spiritual, Mental and Physical Development Associations
11.20Religious Organizations
11.22Exemption for Disabled Veterans
11.23(a), (h), (j), (j-1) or (m)Miscellaneous Exemptions: Veterans Organizations; County Fair Associations; Medical Center Development; Medical Center Development in Populous Counties; and National Hispanic Institute
11.231Nonprofit Community Business Organization Providing Economic Development Services to Local Community
11.254Motor Vehicle Used for Production of Income and for Personal Activities
11.27Solar and Wind-Powered Energy Devices
11.271Offshore Drilling Equipment Not in Use
11.30Nonprofit Water Supply or Wastewater Service Corporation
11.31Pollution Control Property
11.315Energy Storage System in Nonattainment Area
11.33Raw Cocoa and Green Coffee Held in Harris County
11.35Temporary Exemption for Qualified Property Damaged by Disaster
11.437Exemption for Cotton Stored in Warehouse


Unless there is a late application provision in the law, if the owner fails to submit the required application on time, he or she forfeits the right to claim the applicable exemption.

The general deadline to file an exemption application is May 1.

Charitable organizations improving the property for low-income housing and community housing development associations must file the application for exemption within 30 days of acquiring the property.

Chief Appraiser Determination

An appraisal district's Chief Appraiser has the following responsibilities associated with exemption applications:

  • Granting an exemption application.
  • Disapproving an exemption application and asking for more information.
  • Modifying an exemption application.
  • Denying an exemption application.

A property owner is entitled to a written notice of a modification or the denial of an exemption application and may protest such before an Appraisal Review Board (ARB).

Why your exemption application may be denied

A chief appraiser may deny an application of a number of reasons, including but not limited to the following:

  • Property owner is not entitled to the exemption.
  • The property does not qualify for an exemption.
  • Documentation filed with an exemption application does not support the exemption.
  • The exemption is not filed on time.
  • In the case of age 65 or older and disabled, only one exemption may be claimed per

taxing unit.

  • Documentation filed with a request for homestead exemption does not match the property


  • In the case of a residence, an exemption has already been granted on another property.

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