DeSoto City Council approves $5000 increase in Over 65 Homestead Exemption

DeSoto City Council. Photo courtesy City of DeSoto

DESOTO – The DeSoto City Council unanimously approved an ordinance authorizing a $5,000 increase in its “Over 65 Homestead Exemption.” This will set DeSoto’s exemption amount at $40,000 for fiscal year 2024/tax year 2023.

DeSoto Finance Director Tracy Cormier presented the item to council stating “The City Council established a Strategic Plan, and one of the priorities is to grow a diverse and innovative economy with increased commerce and employment opportunities that keep residents in their homes.

After a series of meetings council voted to increase the Over-65 Homestead Exemption to $40,000. This was planned in a two-step process with one increase of $5000 approved for January 2022. With this proposed increase of $5000 this will complete the process of increasing to a total of $40,000.”

Cormier explained that with the increase for tax year 2022 the savings for DeSoto homeowners in this category was $35.07. With the proposed increase of the additional $5000 for the 2023 tax year each homeowner will recognize and additional savings of $34.09 based on the current tax rate of .691554.

DeSoto councilmember Place 3 Nicole Raphiel made the motion to approve seconded by Place 2’s Kay Brown-Patrick.

The initial presentation regarding the Over 65 Homestead Exemption had been brought council in January of 2021 with a discussion emphasizing the impact of increasing the Over-65 Homestead Exemption for residents.

In findings by staff regarding the increase, the Finance Department explained they had researched other cities in Dallas County and the Best Southwest region. During the original presentation to Council, staff explained not only important comparison data details, but also financial impact data, and the process for the possible exemption amount changes. It was at the initial meeting that the DeSoto City Council had determined the two-year change period be initiated to reach the final $40,000.

The financial impact overall for the city of DeSoto will be determined by the amount reduced in fiscal year 2024 and years to come, which will be based on the number of property owners who qualify for the exemption.

As an example, in fiscal year 2023, the decrease in tax revenues was estimated to be $150,000. Staff said in fiscal year 2024 the amount is expected to be comparable. The final Over-65 Homestead Exemption amount of $40,000 will show a decrease in annual tax revenues estimated at roughly $300,000 with the average annual savings to the DeSoto residents who qualify for the exemption roughly $70.14, based on the total exemptions from the two years.

Staff also noted the new change in the city’s Over-65 Homestead Exemption of $40,000 will put DeSoto ahead of its Best Southwest community peers in exemption for seniors.