Possible Tax Relief for Damaged Properties

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On February 12, 2021, Governor Greg Abbot declared a state of disaster for all 254 counties in Texas due to the severe winter weather. This opened the door to possible tax relief for properties damaged by the winter storm.

Texas Property Tax Code Section 11.35 allows a qualified property that is at least 15 percent damaged by a disaster, as determined by the chief appraiser, in a governor-declared disaster area to receive a temporary exemption of a portion of the appraised value of the property.

Qualified property includes:

  • Tangible personal property used for the production of income.
  • An improvement to real property; or
  • Certain manufactured homes.

It is our understanding, based on the Tax Code and information from local Appraisal Districts, that the exemption would be applied to the 2021 Certified Value.

A property owner must apply for the temporary exemption no later than 105 days after the governor declares a disaster area. The deadline to file for this Temporary Exemption for Property Damaged by Disaster is May 28, 2021. The exemption form can be found here.

If you think your property qualifies:

  • Complete the application
  • Attach all documents (insurance claims, inspections, photos, repair costs, receipts, and/or other additional information that may be helpful in assessing the property’s damage.)
  • Contact your Appraisal District to find out more information about how and where to submit the claim.

The temporary disaster area exemption expires on January 1 of the first tax year in which the property is reappraised under Section 25.18. The exemption will be prorated for 322 days of 2021.

According to the Tax Code, the chief appraiser determines if the property qualifies for the temporary exemption and assigns a damage assessment rating of Level I, II, III, or IV. The Chief Appraiser may rely on information from a county emergency management authority, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), or other appropriate sources when making this determination.

LevelDamage AssessmentDamage DescriptionExemption Percentage
I15%<30%Minimal, may continue to be used as intended15%
II30%<60%Nonstructural damage & waterline <18″ above floor30%
III60%<100%Significant structural damage & waterline >18″ above floor60%
IV100%Total loss; repair is not feasible100%

The Chief Appraiser determines how to apply for this temporary exemption. Any questions you may have regarding how to qualify will need to be directed to the Appraisal District where your property is located. For a list of Texas Appraisal Districts, click here.

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