With many properties facing significant damage from Hurricane Harvey, many are wondering if they will be granted a property value reassessment for 2017. While many won’t, some will, and here is what you do need to know:
The Texas Property Tax Codes set property values to be assessed as they stood on January 1st of each year. If a disaster area is declared, local taxing entities can decide to grant a reassessment. As noted in this story about the Katy Independent School District granting a property value reassessment after Harvey, a reduction in property value means less tax revenue for the taxing entity and the taxing entity has to pay the cost of reassessing the value of storm-damaged homes and properties by the appraisal district.
What Does Reappraisal Mean for My Tax Bill?
If you own property in a district where values will be reappraised, you will get a prorated value for 2017 property taxes. Meaning that for the months leading up to Hurricane Harvey you will pay taxes on the originally assessed value as your property stood on January 1, 2017, and then for the remainder of 2017, you will pay taxes based on the newly appraised post-storm value.
The reassessment of your property value will be done as soon as practicable by the appraisal district. The information will include the date of the disaster, the newly appraised post-storm value, and the taxing entities to which the new value applies. It is possible that not all taxing authorities who receive taxes from your property will have authorized the reappraisal, meaning you’ll be partly taxed for one value and partly taxed for another based on how those taxes are allocated.
It is very possible that the reappraisal will not be complete prior to the 2017 property tax deadline of January 31, 2018. It is important to comply with property tax deadlines to avoid paying penalties and interest. Even if a taxing entity is requesting a reappraisal, it may be necessary to pay the current bill as is and collect a refund if the reappraisal results in a lower bill. Please contact our office or call the tax office with any questions regarding your bill.
What You Need to Do
All of that being said, some taxing authorities have granted reappraisals due to Hurricane Harvey while others have set up a system for reporting your storm damage so they can better assess your changed property value for next year. We urge you to submit damage information regardless of whether reappraisal was authorized for 2017. This information will be invaluable for your 2018 assessment. See below for the information you need to know if you fall under one of the appraisal districts below.
In Fort Bend, submit evidence of damage such as photos of the damage, insurance estimates, contractor estimates, receipts for repairs, FEMA documents or any related repair costs due to disaster damage. Follow the detailed instruction from Fort Bend County Appraisal District.
In Harris County, those who suffered damage from Hurricane Harvey can report damage to HCAD through its upgraded app available for Apple or Android phones. You can also report damage at 713.812.5805 by providing your name, address, phone number, and account number, if you have it, along with the type of property damage and amount of water you received. You can also email that information to email@example.com. Read HCADs damage reporting instructions here.
In Galveston County property owners who have any type of property damage from Hurricane Harvey can now report that damage to the Galveston Central Appraisal District via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the detailed instructions provided by the Galveston County Appraisal District.
As always, should you have any questions regarding your commercial property tax valuation, give us a call: 281-880-6500