Just passing on some info from Bettencourt Tax Advisors (the company we use to fight our property taxes). Some might find it helpful if you plan to dispute your property taxes in 2018.
Hurricane Harvey caused an estimated $ 200 Billion in devastation throughout much of Southeast Texas. We were all touched by this storm in some way.
If you experienced property damage due to Hurricane Harvey please be aware that regardless of whether a mass reappraisal is triggered for flood damaged properties for the rest of 2017, your property?s 2018 property tax assessment will still be set on January 1st, as it is every year.
UNREPAIRED DAMAGES TO YOUR PROPERTY AS OF JANUARY 1, 2018 will be prime evidence for your 2018 property tax hearings. Pictures of flooded property, exterior water lines, etc. in the wake of Harvey is visual evidence that is very useful too! Ongoing discussions in the wake of Harvey about new flood maps for neighborhoods affected by flooding is also an important issue!
This is the type of evidence that can be used in hearings to reduce your 2018 value:
DATE STAMPED PHOTOGRAPHS - Provide photos of flood damage to your property and structure at the time of the flood and ongoing repair work not completed as of January 1, 2018
INSURANCE ESTIMATE ? If you have insurance and have filed a claim, send us a copy of the adjuster?s estimate
QUOTES/INVOICES/RECEIPTS Send us any documentation for planned or completed repairs related to flood damage
American Institute of Architects (AIA) Documentation related to flood damage
Thank you for that info. This will be interesting. I mean unless a house never gets repaired, is abandoned or whatever, it's going to be appraised for less? Bc many of these homes will be better than before they ever flooded after repairs are made.Many are making upgrades in features, changing to better layouts and updating. Or are they going to be valued for less bc they did flood at one time?
How about the homes that flood routinely? Are they forever scarred by the appraisal district?
This is from last year after flooding issues, on the HCAD website:
HELP 05/11/2016 Information About Property Values After Flooding
Harris County Appraisal District News Release
For additional information contact Jack Barnett, Communications Officer, 713-957-5663
May 11, 2016
Harris County Appraisal District Provides Information About Property Values After Flooding Houston ?The Harris County Appraisal District is reminding property owners who had flood damage that this year?s property value is based on the value of your property on January 1, 2016.
?Texas law requires us to appraise property at the value it would sell for on January 1 of each year,? said Sands Stiefer, chief appraiser. ?The recent flooding has had a devastating impact on many residents, and I want to give them some tips that may save them money in the future.?
First it is important to let the appraisal district know that your property had flood damage. You can do this by calling the appraisal district at 713.957.7800 and press option 9, which was specifically set up to take these calls. ?The district already is aware of general areas that flooded and will be looking at properties in those areas closely,? Stiefer said.
Second, property owners should notify the appraisal district of a temporary address change to make sure they receive any mail about property taxes. The property owner can fill out an Address Correction Form on the HCAD website at www.hcad.org under Forms > Corrections Forms. There are versions for homeowners or business owners. Writing FLOOD VICTIM on the top of either form will alert the district that the address should be changed immediately. Property owners also can get notices electronically if they have created an HCAD online owners account.
Third, if a property has had flood damage, the owner should file a protest for this year. The deadline to file a protest is Tuesday, May 31. Protest forms are available the HCAD website.
?While the flooding will not affect your current value, filing a protest will ensure a review of your account to make sure the value of your property is as accurate as it can be,? Stiefer said.
Property owners also should make sure they have a homestead exemption, which can provide a substantial tax savings. If the property owner is over 65 or disabled, they can file for another exemption which may provide additional savings. If a property owner is over 65 or disabled, they also can file for a tax deferral, which will postpone tax payments, or they can file to pay their taxes in installments. The tax deferral form is on the HCAD website under Forms > Affidavits. Installment payments can be paid quarterly and arrangements can be made through the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector?s office.
?The final point to remember is to protest your 2017 property value if you have unrepaired damage or believe your property value has been permanently affected by the flooding,? Stiefer said. ?It?s especially important to keep any repair receipts or estimates and any damage photos you might have taken to include in next year?s protest.?