AUSTIN - Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued the following statement today informing residents with damaged homes and businesses in the 60 Texas counties that were declared disaster areas following Hurricane Harvey that they have the option to pay their 2017 and 2018 property taxes in installments rather than a lump sum that is due before February 1, 2018:
“Helping Texans who are recovering and rebuilding after the storm is my top priority. That’s why, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, I called on counties and other local taxing entities to initiate disaster reappraisals so that those with damaged homes and businesses would not be assessed for property taxes on the value of their property before the storm hit. Some taxing entities stepped up immediately to begin disaster reappraisal, but others have refused. I will continue to fight for disaster reappraisal but in the meantime, I want to make sure property taxpayers know they have another option that could be helpful both this year and next year.
“The Texas Tax Code 31.032 allows homeowners and small businesses that were damaged in the hurricane and are in a declared disaster area to pay their property taxes in four installments instead of one lump sum without penalty or interest. All single family homes, even if not an official homestead, and other residential property with no more than four units are eligible including small businesses with gross receipts of less than $5.7 million. I'm familiar with this law because I helped amend it in 2009 to make it stronger.
“This will not lower appraisals or property taxes, but it will spread out what is owed over several months and eliminate penalties and interest.
“In the last session of the Texas Legislature, the Texas Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 717 which would have required appraisal districts to reappraise all property after a major disaster but the bill died in the Texas House. I will make passing the disaster reappraisal bill a priority for the next legislative session and I continue to call for all local taxing entities in declared disaster areas to reappraise damaged properties.”
Residents in counties that have been declared disaster areas must take the following steps in order to pay their property taxes in installments:
By January 31st, pay 25 percent of your property tax bill and inform your local taxing unit that you intend to pay the balance in installments.
March 31st – the second 25 percent payment is due.
May 31st – the third 25 percent payment is due
July 31st – the final 25 percent payment is due.
Eligible residents can pay both 2017 and 2018 property tax in installments.