Due to the freezing temperatures of Winter Storm Uri, Governor Abbott declared the entire state of Texas a disaster area on February 12, 2021.
The Montgomery Central Appraisal District (MCAD) is reminding property owners that they may qualify for a temporary disaster exemption if they experienced physical damage to their property during the recent freeze (Winter Storm Uri). The exemption is not automatic and physical damage must meet a specific degree to qualify.
During the 86th Texas Legislative Session, the Texas Property Tax Code was amended to potentially allow property owners a temporary disaster exemption. Section 11.35 of the Tax Code allows a qualified property that is at least 15 percent damaged by a disaster to receive a temporary exemption of a portion of the appraised value of the property. Qualified property includes:
tangible personal property used for income production if the owner filed a rendition;
residential buildings (homes), commercial buildings (businesses), industrial buildings (manufacturing), multi-family buildings (apartments), and other real property buildings; and
certain manufactured homes.
The exemption is not automatic and damage must meet a minimum degree of 15% to qualify, for example: On qualified property valued at $200,000, the damages would have to be estimated at $30,000 or more. ($200,000 x 15% = $30,000)
The appraisal district determines if the property qualifies for the temporary exemption and assigns a damage assessment rating or exemption percentage of Level I (at least 15% damaged), II (at least 30% damaged), III (at least 60% damaged), or IV (100% damaged – total loss) based upon available information. The district may rely on information from a county emergency management authority, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), or other appropriate sources like insurance adjusters or repair estimates when making this determination. The exemption will be prorated based on the date of the declared disaster.
The property owner must apply for the temporary exemption no later than 105 days after the governor declares a disaster area. The temporary exemption application must be filed no later than May 28, 2021.
The temporary exemption, if granted, expires on January 1 of the first tax year in which the property is reappraised.
For more information and to obtain a temporary disaster application form visit the Winter Storm Uri 2021 section of MCAD’s website (WWW.MCAD-TX.ORG). The completed form and supporting documentation of damage should be mailed to:
Attention: Disaster Exemption
P.O. Box 2233
Conroe, TX 77305.
For further information, contact MCAD at 936-756-3354.