Frisco City Council approves homestead exemption increase, property tax freeze for elderly, disabled

Council approved the measures to help reduce property taxes

Frisco mayor Jeff Cheney (Facebook/City of Frisco TX - City Hall, iStock)
Frisco mayor Jeff Cheney (Facebook/City of Frisco TX - City Hall, iStock)

The city council of Frisco, a city in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, approved measures to lower taxes by increasing the homestead exemption, and freeze rates for the elderly and disabled.

The homestead exemption, which allows a portion of a home’s value to be exempt from tax, will increase next year to 12.5 percent from 10 percent, the Community Impact Newspaper reported. Both measures were approved at the council’s June 21 meeting.

When Frisco first adopted the homestead exemption, it started at a rate of 7.5 percent before increasing to 10 percent in 2018. According to the publication, the city staff evaluates the rate each year to maintain both the homestead and elderly and disabled exemption at around 33 percent of the median assessed home value.

“We want people to come to Frisco to live and to work and to play, but we want you to come to Frisco to retire,” said Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Angelia Pelham, who added that she had to provide financial assistance to an elderly parent who would have been priced out of their home without this measure.

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While a property owner over the age of 65 in Texas cannot freeze all of their property taxes, they do have the option of applying for a tax ceiling exemption that will freeze the amount of property taxes paid to their school district, which this new measure will help protect.

Both of these measures will be effective for the Jan. 1, 2022 valuations and affect taxes for the 2023 fiscal year, and the freeze for elderly or disabled homeowners will remain in effect unless there is an amendment to the Texas Constitution.

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Estimates from the Collin County Appraisal District project the 2022 average market value of a Frisco home is $633,300. The city of Frisco’s tax rate right now is $0.4466 per $100 valuation for the fiscal year 2021-22. City Council member Bill Woodard, who is also chair of the budget and audit committee, explained during the meeting that the city staff was required by the state to make recommendations on both the freeze and the exemption in June.

“[Staff are] projecting as best as they possibly can on what they think is going to happen with no certainties,” said Woodard.

“There’s going to be a lot of additional budget discussions over the rest of this summer. This is not the end of our budget discussions,” he continued.

The appraisal district office increased the median home value for those over 65 years from $353,828 to $383,732, according to the publication. However, this only put the exemptions at 31 percent of the median assessed home value, roughly below the city’s goal.

“The homestead exemption is a personal passion of mine,” Mayor Jeff Cheney said. “It is our goal to get this to 20 percent, and we’re going to keep pushing every single year [and] stressing the budget every single year to see how fast we can get it.”

[Community Impact Newspaper] — James Bell