How Will Texas Proposition 3 Impact Property Taxes for Disaster Relief?

If you or your family have been hit hard by one of the many hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods that impacted millions of Texans over the last few years, you probably followed the progress of Texas Proposition 3, which proposed a property tax exemption or deferment for those property owners impacted by natural disasters. If you haven’t been following this proposition, which was voted on in November, our blog will walk you through all of the information you need to know about Proposition 3 and how it could impact your property tax bill.

What Does Proposition 3 Say? 

Proposition 3 proposed an amendment to the Texas state constitution to provide a temporary exemption from taxing on properties damaged during a natural disaster. Prior to this proposition, tax assessors, county commissioners, and other authorities had the ability to propose temporary relief measures or property reappraisals in disaster designated areas. Those impacted by the recent North Texas tornadoes will likely be very familiar with this process. 

Under the new constitutional amendment, which was inspired by the widespread devastation and ongoing property restorations following Hurricane Harvey, a disaster management organization or local authority would be allowed to designate exemptions for disaster designated areas. Local governments are still given the final say on what percentage of exemption is received and how long it will be applied. The main difference between the existing process and Proposition 3 is that there does not have to be a reappraisal of individual properties for owners to receive the exemption. This saves taxing authorities significant amounts of time and money. 

Was the Proposition Passed? 

It was! Proposition 3 received 86% approval during the vote on November 5, 2019. 

How Will it Impact Property Taxes?

Under Proposition 3, properties in disaster designated areas would be given blanket exemptions without the need for costly individual reappraisals unless they are requested by the property owner or there is a special circumstance. The allowed exemptions under this amendment would be set at 15%, 30%, 60%, or 100% of the property’s value, depending on the amount of property damage as assessed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the county’s emergency management team or other appraisal authorities as appropriate. The exemption would not apply to the value of the land that the property sits on. 

Additionally, these tax exemptions will be prorated based on when the disaster occurred. For instance, if the natural disaster occurs in July, full property taxes would be applied for the first six months of the year with adjusted tax figures applied to the second half of the year. The updated appraised value will remain effect until the following year’s annual appraisal period with an option for renewal in areas where significant damage remains. 

Can Home Tax Solutions Still Help Me? 

If you’re in need of assistance to fit the cost of your annual property taxes into your budget, the Home Tax Solutions team can help. We make it easy to get started with our simple online request form. Once we receive your information, a team member from one of our five Texas locations will be in touch to discuss your affordable property tax loan options.