Freeze-damaged homes might qualify for property tax reduction

Freeze-damaged homes might qualify for property tax reduction

Maverick Remodeling and Construction employees use electronic gauges to determine how well a League City house that flooded from bust pipes is drying. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)

Properties that suffered damage during the February freeze are eligible for a new disaster exemption that could lower their property value appraisals—and their owners’ tax bills—this year.

“I want to remind everyone that the temporary disaster exemption is available to help property owners who had physical damage to their property from Winter Storm Uri,” Harris County Appraisal District’s chief appraiser Roland Altinger said in a news release. “A change in state law since Hurricane Harvey now lets the individual owner apply for the temporary disaster exemption for physical damage to their property. However, there is a deadline for the property owner to submit the application, and we are approaching that deadline.”

A qualified property that incurs damaged amounting at least 15% of its value in a governor-declared disaster is eligible for the disaster exemption. This includes real property such as homes and buildings, some manufactured homes and personal property used for a business. Properties seeking the exemption are subject to evaluation by the chief appraiser, who can assign a damage rating and a corresponding exemption percentage.

As of March 31, HCAD said it had only received about 150 applications for the exemption.

The deadline to file for the exemption is May 28. A link for the appropriate forms is available on the HCAD website.

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