Keller raises the exemption for homesteads to the utmost
Keller’s city tax accounts for around 17% of a resident’s property tax bill. (Kira Lovell / Community Impact Newspaper)
Keller City Council voted on June 15 to increase the exemption for homesteads in the city from 14% to 20%, the state maximum.
The move will reduce some of the property taxes that Keller’s residents have to pay to the city. Mayor Armin Mizani said it was part of an effort to shift the city’s financial burden from residents to sales tax revenues.
“As the ratings continue to rise, people are literally being driven from their homes,” said Mizani. “We as the city council have a responsibility to do our best.”
A homestead exemption is a discount that tax authorities such as the City of Keller can offer to property owners. According to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, homeowners can apply to their district for homestead exemption to remove a percentage of the value of their property from taxation. The right to exemption only applies to a person’s main residence.
According to city documents, Keller approved a 1% tax exemption for homesteads in 1986. The 1% exemption was in place until 2016 when it was increased to 4%. Thereafter the rate was increased each year up to 14% in 2020.
City tax accounts for around 17% of every resident’s property tax bill, according to a presentation by Keller Director of Finance Aaron Rector on June 15. However, the new exemption will lower the average value for a basement home from $ 373,725 with the 14% exemption to $ 347,651.
City director Mark Hafner said that this move will relieve the residents as the housing values increase.
“We’ll probably have a hard time touching the tax rate. But as we can see, the greatest influence on the increase in home values lies with the homeowner, ”said Hafner. “And that is what will give us the greatest impact on the homeowner at the moment.”