FAQ

Appraisal Questions

  1. How often do you reappraise property?
  2. What is the definition of market value?
  3. When does a property become taxable?
  4. Why is “IMPROVEMENT” shown on my notice of appraisal when I haven’t made any?
  5. Does anyone actually come out and look at my property?
  6. My home is 30 years old. Is that taken into consideration in the appraisal?
  7. How is the appraisal calculated?
  8. My house was not complete on January 1. How is it appraised?

Disability Exemptions

  1. What is a disability exemption?
  2. What type evidence do I submit to qualify for a disability exemption?
  3. If I am disabled and over 65 years of age, can I qualify for both exemptions?
  4. I am partially disabled but still able to work. Can I qualify?
  5. Do I have to file every year?

General Homestead Exemption

  1. Do I need to reapply annually for this exemption?
  2. When and where do I apply for my homestead exemption?
  3. How many acres may I claim with my homestead?
  4. How do I qualify for the General Homestead exemption?
  5. What is a General Homestead Exemption?

General Information

  1. Why do I get an error message that says ‘Request Timed Out’?
  2. I don’t want my information available on the web. How do I get it deleted?
  3. How current is the information on your site?
  4. My property information is wrong. How do I get it changed?

Over 65 Exemptions

  1. At what age do I qualify for the Senior Citizen (Over 65) exemption?
  2. How do I qualify for this exemption?
  3. What is the Senior Citizen exemption tax ceiling (freeze) and does it apply to all my taxes?
  4. Can my appraised value increase after I qualify for the Senior Citizen exemption?
  5. Do both my spouse and I have to be over 65 years of age to qualify?
  6. What is a tax deferral for a senior citizen?
  7. Can I pay my taxes in installments?

How often do you reappraise property?

The Orange County Appraisal District reviews all properties annually. We review current sales to determine whether the values need to be adjusted.

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What is the definition of market value?

The Texas Property Tax Code defines “Market Value” as “the price at which a property would transfer for cash or its equivalent under prevailing market conditions if: a) exposed for sale in the open market with a reasonable time for the seller to find a purchaser; b) both the seller and the purchaser know of all the uses and purposes to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used and of the enforceable restrictions on its use;and c) both the seller and purchaser seek to maximize their gains and neither is in a position to take advantage of the exigencies of the other.

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When does a property become taxable?

A property is taxable if it is located within a taxing entity on or before January 1 of a given year.

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Why is “IMPROVEMENT” shown on my notice of appraisal when I haven’t made any?

“Improvement” is the term used to describe any structure attached to the property. It does not necessarily mean that the structure has changed in any way.

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Does anyone actually come out and look at my property?

Yes. An appraiser looks at all properties each year. Due to time restraints, they cannot look at the interior of the properties.

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My home is 30 years old. Is that taken into consideration in the appraisal?

Yes. Age, size, condition and quality of construction are all considered in each appraisal.

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How is the appraisal calculated?

The structure is measured, classified for quality of construction, and depreciated based on its condition. Schedules based on current sales are applied to arrive at a value of the structures. The land value is then added to arrive at the total value.

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My house was not complete on January 1. How is it appraised?

The improvements are valued based on their percentage of completion as of January 1.

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What is a disability exemption?

A disability exemption is in addition to your homestead exemption. To qualify, you must receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration.

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What type evidence do I submit to qualify for a disability exemption?

A letter from the Social Security Administration indicating disability benefits. Other documentation may be acceptable if meeting the requirements of the tax code. The Appraisal District office can answer any questions as to what evidence will qualify.

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If I am disabled and over 65 years of age, can I qualify for both exemptions?

No. The property tax code allows you to qualify for one or the other, not both.

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I am partially disabled but still able to work. Can I qualify?

No. You must meet requirements for disability under the federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program which is administered by the Social Security Administration.

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Do I have to file every year?

No, only if requested by the Chief Appraiser.

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Do I need to reapply annually for this exemption?

No. Reapplication is not necessary unless requested by the Chief Appraiser or if you move to a new residence.

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When and where do I apply for my homestead exemption?

You may apply for the homestead exemption at the Orange County Appraisal District between January 1st and April 30th of each tax year. State law also provides for the filing of late application. Contact our office for more information.

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How many acres may I claim with my homestead?

State law allows you to claim the portion of your land maintained for residential purposes not to exceed 20 acres.

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How do I qualify for the General Homestead exemption?

In order to qualify for this exemption, you must have owned and occupied the property as of January 1st of the application year. The property must be your principal residence and you may not claim another homestead on any other property.

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What is a General Homestead Exemption?

The general homestead exemption is provided by state law for owner-occupied residential properties. The exemption removes a portion of your property value from taxation resulting in a lower tax amount.

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Why do I get an error message that says ‘Request Timed Out’?

This error generally occurs when the search criteria is too broad to complete the search before the set time limit. Narrow the search down by providing additional search criteria.

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I don’t want my information available on the web. How do I get it deleted?

The data that is being presented on this website is public record and available under laws governing the public’s right to access public information. We cannot selectively remove or withhold this information.

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How current is the information on your site?

The information displayed reflects the previous year’s certified values.

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My property information is wrong. How do I get it changed?

This site only displays the information provided by the appraisal district. You will need to contact the appraisal district and inform them of the wrong information. Each appraisal district has their own procedure for reporting changes.

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At what age do I qualify for the Senior Citizen (Over 65) exemption?

You qualify for the Senior Citizen exemption on your 65th birthday. This exemption is in addition to the General Homestead exemption.

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How do I qualify for this exemption?

In order to qualify for this exemption, you must meet the same qualifications as required for the General Homestead exemption as well as provide proof that you are 65 years old or older. A driver’s license or birth certificate is adequate for this purpose.

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What is the Senior Citizen exemption tax ceiling (freeze) and does it apply to all my taxes?

State law requires that once you qualify and are granted the Senior Citizen exemption, a ceiling or “freeze” will be established. The ceiling will apply for the school district and County only unless your property is located within a city which has voted to allow the ceiling. Once the ceiling (freeze) is established, your tax will remain the same for the remainder of the time you live at that particular home unless significant structure changes are made.

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Can my appraised value increase after I qualify for the Senior Citizen exemption?

Yes. The Appraisal District is required by law to determine the current market value of all properties. However, your tax ceiling (freeze) will limit any increases in school, County, and city (if applicable) that you pay. Taxes to other taxing entities may increase if your valuation increases.

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Do both my spouse and I have to be over 65 years of age to qualify?

No. Only one of you need to be over 65 years of age to qualify for this exemption. Once this exemption is granted, if the qualifying spouse should die, then the exemption would remain in effect if the surviving spouse is 55 years old or older and has ownership in the property. The ceiling (freeze) remains in effect for as long as the spouse lives in the home. The surviving spouse needs to contact our office in order to continue receiving the exemption.

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What is a tax deferral for a senior citizen?

A homeowner, age 65 or older, may defer or postpone paying any delinquent property taxes on their home as long as they own and occupy the property. To postpone your tax payments, you must file a tax deferral affidavit with the Appraisal District. A tax deferral only postpones paying your taxes, it DOES NOT cancel them. Interest is added at the rate of 8% per year. Once your home ceases to be your homestead, past taxes and interest become due.

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Can I pay my taxes in installments?

Yes. If you are over 65 years of age, you may pay your taxes in four equal payments. Contact the County Tax Office for details.

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