By Elsa Maxey
Fort Bend County Commissioners court recently voted to adopt local option property tax exemptions for the 2012 tax year. The exemptions authorized by Texas Property Tax Code include a homestead exemption of $5,000 or 20 percent, whichever is greater, and a $100,000 exemption for those disabled or over the age of 65. A homestead exemption helps save a homeowner on property taxes. It removes part of the value of the property from taxation and essentially lowers the amount of taxes owed, and in this case, this applies to the property taxes owed to Fort Bend County.
Homeowners can apply for homestead exemptions on their principal residence with the Fort Bend County Central Appraisal District.
On August 14, Fort Bend County Commissioners also proposed the 2012 county tax rate. Broken down, this includes a proposed general fund tax rate of $0.37776 and a Road and Bridge Fund tax rate of $0.02800. The total Fort Bend County tax rate proposed is $0.499760 per $100 valuation for 2012. “Bottom line, the overall combined tax rate in Fort Bend County remains flat for the fourth consecutive year,” said County Judge Bob Hebert, adding that there’s no change in the tax rate.
During the same meeting last week, commissioners court voted to propose a 2.35 percent salary increase for elected officials in the county, which includes their salaries. County court at law judges are not included in this proposed measure nor is the District Attorney, nor district court judges, according to the motion made by Precinct 2 Commissioner Grady Prestage, who said the salary increase proposal is exclusive of those positions, “which would still be zero (increase).”
Public hearings will be held on September 10 and 11 for the proposed Fiscal Year 2013 county budget and those to receive comments on the proposed tax rate have been set for August 23 and August 28.
Commissioners court also approved a schedule of early voting times and locations for the November 6 General Election. Early voting in Fort Bend County will begin October 22 and end on November 2.