Dallas/ Politics & Govt
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Published on May 23, 2024
Fort Worth City Council Enhances Property Tax Relief for Elderly and Disabled Homeowners Amid Market SurgeSource: City of Fort Worth

Giving the city's elderly and disabled a financial uppercut, the City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to boost property tax exemptions, cutting the financial pressure for some of the city's most vulnerable homeowners. According to the City of Fort Worth, qualifying residents within this cohort can now shave $80,000 off their home's assessed value when taxes come due, up from the previous $60,000.

The tax relief, stepping up for the second year in a row, provides a tangible benefit for a chunk of the city’s population who often live on fixed incomes. However, some eligible residents might find the relief bittersweet. Due to surging property values, they may not experience a decrease in their final tax bill, suggests the city's news release. The tax break doesn't offset the relentless climb of market values.

Nonetheless, the tax ordinance which jumps into immediate effect, applies to ad valorem taxes for the year ahead. Texas laws stand by the elderly and disabled, imposing no cap on how high the homestead exemptions can go, an aspect that underscores the state’s commitment to these residents.

An interesting snag in the exemption benefit is that those who are eligible for both the elderly and disabled tax breaks can’t double dip. As per the City of Fort Worth, "An eligible disabled person who is 65 or older may not receive both a disabled and an elderly residence homestead exemption, but may choose either." So, for those navigating the crossroads of age and disability, the choice remains a singular one.

What remains unchanged is the benefit of tax ceilings for qualifying homeowners, though they may be navigating the rising tides of property valuation, a trend that the tax exemption hike attempts to countervail, according to the city's statements.