On Nov. 5, Grapevine City Council approved increasing the city’s optional homestead exemption for its over 65 residents. The current exemption is for $60,000 of the appraised value of the person’s home. With approval, this exemption would increase to $75,000 of the appraised value. This is a 25% increase from the current exemption for residents 65 and over.
The decision came after city staff had conducted extensive research on the topic, according to meeting documents. The exemption increase is possible since Senate Bill 2 was passed in the 86th legislative session, which places a 3.5% cap on property tax revenue growth, according to meeting documents.
Grapevine Chief Financial Officer Greg Jordan said a homestead has to be a person's primary place of residence. Residents applying for the homestead exemption for the first time must apply through the Tarrant Appraisal District. Residents who are already receiving the exemption will receive the increased discount automatically, he said.
The city of Grapevine offers a 20% homestead exemption to its tax-paying residents, which is the maximum a city can offer, Jordan said. With this item approved, seniors will receive an additional $75,000 of top of the 20% exemption.
Mayor William D. Tate said the extra discount comes out to about a $40 discount on the senior population's tax bill.
"I think it’s a good faith effort to recognize that we have people that are struggling," Tate said.