Residents Encouraged to Reduce Tax Bills with Homestead Exemption

In February 2022, the San Marcos City Council voted to approve a residential homestead property tax exemption. The vote provided homeowners an opportunity to take advantage of additional savings on their annual property tax bills through the tax exemption, which removes a portion of or the total amount of a property’s value from taxation for property tax purposes. 

City of San Marcos staff have heard from residents who are concerned they may not be accessing all of the savings for which they are eligible. 

How do property tax exemptions work?
A variety of partial or total exemptions from appraised property values are available to homeowners to determine taxes. Partial exemptions remove a percentage or fixed dollar amount of a property’s value from taxation. A total exemption excludes the entire property from taxation. The State of Texas requires taxing units, which include the City, Hays County, and the San Marcos CISD, to offer certain mandatory exemptions. Taxing units also have the option to decide locally whether to offer other exemptions. 

How much is the City of San Marcos’ residential homestead exemption?
The San Marcos City Council voted to approve a residential homestead property tax exemption of $15,000 and raised the exemption for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities from $25,000 to $35,000. 

How does the City of San Marcos’ residential homestead exemption relate to other exemptions?
The City’s exemption is separate from a variety of partial or total exemptions from appraised property values used to determine local taxes. A full list of exemptions available in Hays County can be found here

The exemption that was established by the City in 2022 was automatically applied to any eligible property owner with a qualified exemption already in place. Homeowners did not need to apply for the City of San Marcos’ exemption separately.

How do I access exemptions?
Residents must file an application and provide documentation to support exemption eligibility. The application may be found here and submitted with the appraisal district office in each county in which a property is located. 

Additional forms and applications are available on the Hays County Central Appraisal District forms page

What is the deadline for filing an application for a residence homestead exemption?
Generally, the filing deadline for a residence homestead exemption is no later than April 30.

What if I miss the deadline?
A late application for a residence homestead exemption, including for a person that is disabled or age 65 or older, may be filed up to two years after the deadline for filing has passed. 

Why are homestead exemptions removed?
The Chief Appraiser can periodically ask homeowners to submit a new application to determine if a property owner is still eligible for an exemption. If this occurs, the homeowner is notified in writing. 

I recently moved to San Marcos or bought a new home within the community. Where can I get more information?
Additional information, forms, and applications are available online from the Hays Central Appraisal District.  

Where can I find other tax information from the City of San Marcos? 
For information about property taxes, sales taxes, hotel occupancy taxes, and rates, visit the Current Tax Information page.

A pie chart explaining exemption amounts' impact on taxable values

Other Exemption Qualifications:

  • Disabled Person Exemption
  • Age 65 or Older Exemption
  • Surviving Spouse of an Individual Who Qualified for Age 65 or Older Exemption
  • 100 Percent Disabled Veterans Exemption
  • Surviving Spouse of a Disabled Veteran Who Qualified or Would Have Qualified for the 100 Percent Disabled Veteran's Exemption
  • Donated Residence Homestead of Partially Disabled Veterans
  • Surviving Spouse of a Disabled Veteran Who Qualified for the Donated Residence Homestead Exemption
  • Surviving Spouse of an Armed Services Member Killed in the Line of Duty
  • Surviving Spouse of a First Responder Killed in the Line of Duty

Resources from the Hays Central Appraisal District:

To apply for a residence homestead exemption: 

  • Make sure the address listed on the property owner's driver's license or state-issued personal identification matches the property address for which the exemption is requested. A copy must be attached when submitting the application. 
  • Property owners who reside in certain facilities, participate in a certain address confidentiality program, or are active duty U.S. armed services members or a spouse of certain active duty U.S. armed services members may be exempt from the requirement to provide an ID with a corresponding address. 
  • The chief appraiser may request additional information to evaluate an application. When requested, property owners must comply within 30 days of the request or the application will be denied. 
  • Property owners must notify the chief appraiser in writing before May 1 of the year after his or her right to the exemption ends.