HCAD Disaster Reappraisal

 

Frequently Asked Questions


General


What is a disaster reappraisal?

Section 23.02 of the Texas Property Tax Code allows the governing body of a taxing jurisdiction to authorize reappraisal of all property damaged due to the disaster.


What does a disaster reappraisal mean for my property?

If your property was damaged in Hurricane Harvey and a jurisdiction you are located in authorized a reappraisal, the appraisal district will reappraise your property based on the physical damage your property received. You will receive a Disaster Reappraisal Notification letter in the mail with your new market value.

The taxing jurisdictions that have requested a disaster reappraisal will prorate your taxes based on the new value from the date of the disaster, August 23, 2017, until December 31, 2017. If your account was “capped” (the appraised value of your property for January 1 was beneath your market value as of January 1), the new disaster reappraisal market value has to be lowered beneath your January 1 appraised value for your taxes to be impacted.

If you have questions concerning how your taxes will be calculated, please contact the jurisdictions that have requested reappraisal. See FAQ section Contact Information for Reappraisal Jurisdictions for their contact information.


Which jurisdictions have requested a disaster reappraisal?

We have received seven authorizations for reappraisal: Woodlands Township, Harris County-Montgomery County MUD 386, City of Katy, Spring Branch ISD, City of Shoreacres, La Porte ISD and Harris County – Fort Bend County MUD 1.


What date will be used to prorate my taxes?

August 23, 2017 is the date the governor declared Harris County a disaster area. This will be the date used to prorate your taxes no matter what specific date your property was damaged during Harvey.


What are the steps in a disaster reappraisal?

A taxing jurisdiction must adopt a resolution authorizing the chief appraiser to reappraise all physically damaged properties within their jurisdiction. Once the resolution has been authorized, the chief appraiser will review the properties within the specified jurisdiction to determine which accounts have been physically damaged.

Once the damaged properties have been identified, appraisers review each account and make an adjustment to the market value of the property based on the amount of damage to the improvement. Most damaged properties will receive a Disaster Reappraisal Notification letter from HCAD. This letter indicates the new market and appraised values, as necessary, along with the taxing jurisdictions that have requested reappraisal.

Most other taxable improved properties within the taxing jurisdiction’s borders will receive a Secondary Reappraisal Notification letter. This letter lets the property owner know that a jurisdiction that they are located in has requested reappraisal and we do not have information to indicate that they were physically damaged during the disaster.

Both letters include the account number and a reappraisal PIN, which will allow property owners to provide us additional information/documentation regarding the damage to their property. If documentation is provided, the appraisal district may contact the property owner to discuss the information presented and how it impacts their reappraisal.

If the property owner and the appraiser cannot agree on a disaster reappraisal value, the account will be scheduled for a formal hearing in front of the Appraisal Review Board (ARB). Any value changes discussed between the property owner and the appraiser prior to the ARB hearing is no longer available once the property owner appears in front of the ARB. The ARB is not bound by any offer made by an employee of the district. The ARB has the authority to change the value of any given property as they see fit. The market value that will be discussed is that which appears on the reappraisal letter.

Some damaged properties will receive a Nominal Reappraisal Notification letter. These properties had a minimal amount of value attributed to their building value as of January 1, 2017, so we are unable to adjust their market value due to the disaster reappraisal.


How did the appraisal district determine the adjustment to my market value for my home?

Generally, the reported or estimated flood depth was used to determine an amount of damage in dollars in order to make an adjustment to the January 1, 2017 market value of your improvements.


My property was damaged during Hurricane Harvey. How do I request a reappraisal of my property?

The appraisal district can only conduct a disaster reappraisal on your property if a taxing jurisdiction (city, county, school district or MUD) authorized us to do so. If you are located in one of the jurisdictions that have requested reappraisal, you will receive a letter from HCAD indicating whether we determined you had property damage.

If you are not located in one of the jurisdictions that have requested a reappraisal, the appraisal district will reappraise your property for January 1, 2018.


How will HCAD value my damaged property if I am not in an area that has requested a damage reappraisal?

If you are not located in one of the jurisdictions that have requested a reappraisal, the appraisal district will reappraise your property for January 1, 2018. Damage to your home that is not repaired by January 1, 2018 will be reflected in the 2018 value. HCAD plans to have appraisers visiting each damaged property to determine its January 1 condition in order to provide the most accurate value for 2018. You also can provide information about the January 1, 2018 condition of your property at help@hcad.org or leave a message at 713-812-5805. This will help us to ensure that your value is adjusted appropriately.


My property didn’t flood until August 29th with the rest of my neighborhood due to the Addicks Reservoir. Do I still qualify for disaster reappraisal? How will the proration of my taxes be calculated?

If your property was damaged due to Hurricane Harvey, either during the initial storm or the damage that was caused due to the accumulation of rainwater several days later, you qualify for disaster reappraisal if you are located in a jurisdiction that requested reappraisal. The governor declared Harris County a disaster area (August 23) prior to Hurricane Harvey hitting the Gulf Coast (August 25) and the aftermath due to the rainfall (approximately August 29).


How will this impact my 2018 value?

The appraisal district will reappraise all property as of January 1, 2018. Damage to your home that is not repaired by January 1, 2018 will be reflected in the 2018 value. HCAD plans to have appraisers visit each damaged property to determine its January 1 condition in order to provide the most accurate value for 2018. You also can provide information about your January 1, 2018 condition of your property at help@hcad.org or leave a message at 713-812-5805. This will help us to ensure that your value is adjusted accordingly.


I think there should be some further adjustment made to my disaster reappraisal value due to the fact that my home flooded, in addition to the actual damages that occurred. Why was this not taken into account?

The market value for disaster reappraisal was adjusted based on the physical damage to the property. Any market adjustment will be taken into consideration in the January 1, 2018 annual appraisal of your market value.


My house was not physically damaged during Hurricane Harvey but I feel like my value has been reduced due to the rest of my neighborhood flooding. Will you adjust my market value for disaster reappraisal?

The market value for disaster reappraisal was adjusted based only on the physical damage to the property. Any market adjustment will be taken into consideration in the January 1, 2018 annual appraisal of your market value.



Notification Letters


I received a letter from HCAD in the mail regarding disaster reappraisal. What does that mean?

See FAQ Section General.


The letter HCAD sent me said that my property wasn’t damaged, but it was. How do I let you know?

HCAD used the information that it had available to determine whether your property was damaged. The purpose of the letter was to let you know that you were located in a reappraisal jurisdiction and that your property could be reappraised if your property was damaged during Hurricane Harvey. We knew there would be properties that would be missed, and we appreciate you letting us know.

For information regarding submitting documentation electronically, please see the FAQ section Submitting Documentation Electronically.


The letter HCAD sent me said that my property was damaged, but it wasn’t. How do I let you know?

Please send us an email at help@hcad.org or call us at 713-957-7800 to let us know that your property was not damaged during Hurricane Harvey. We will contact you to confirm that your property was not damaged and the disaster reappraisal value will be removed from your account.


The letter HCAD sent me said that my property was damaged, but the reduction in value was not appropriate considering the level of damage to my property. How do I provide more information?

For information regarding submitting documentation electronically, please see the FAQ section Submitting Documentation Electronically.


The letter HCAD sent me shows where my market value has been adjusted due to the damage, but my appraised value is the same as it was as of January 1, 2017. Shouldn’t the adjustment due to the disaster be made to my appraised value and not my market value?

The adjustment for disaster reappraisal was applied to the January 1, 2017 market value. If the disaster reappraisal market value was lowered beneath the January 1, 2017 appraised value, then the appraised value was also lowered.

For example, the January 1, 2017 market value was $150,000 and appraised value was $110,000. The disaster reappraisal market value was adjusted to $125,000 based on the estimated damages. In this case, the appraised value would not be adjusted for the disaster reappraisal. The letter would have a disaster reappraisal market value of $125,000 and an appraised value of $110,000.


Taxes


What is the formula for calculating the proration of my taxes?

The appraisal district does not determine the calculation for proration of your taxes. This is the responsibility of the taxing jurisdictions that have requested reappraisal. Please contact the taxing jurisdictions for information on the calculation of the proration. See FAQ section Contact Information for Reappraisal Jurisdictions for their contact information.


I have already received my tax bill from the taxing jurisdiction. Do I need to go ahead and pay my taxes?

Yes. We encourage you to pay your tax bill(s) before the delinquency date to avoid penalties and interest as the prorated disaster value will not be reflected on the bill(s) you have already received. The taxing jurisdictions will issue the appropriate refunds at a later date in accordance with the Texas Property Tax Code.


Do I have any other options in regards to paying my taxes before delinquency?

Yes, you can pay in four installments. The Texas Property Tax Code Section 31.032 allows homeowners and some small businesses whose property was damaged in a disaster and located in a designated disaster area to pay their taxes in four installments. Please contact the taxing jurisdictions to inquire about payment options. See FAQ section Contact Information for Reappraisal Jurisdictions for their contact information.


I have an over-65 exemption and tax ceiling. Will the taxing units prorate my taxes even if my ceiling amount is less than the taxes on the value of the property as damaged?

The appraisal district does not determine the calculation for proration of your taxes. This is the responsibility of the taxing jurisdictions that have requested reappraisal. Please contact the taxing jurisdictions for information on the proration calculation. See FAQ section Contact Information for Reappraisal Jurisdictions for their contact information.


Who should I contact with questions about proration, refunds and billing?

We encourage you to contact your taxing jurisdictions regarding these types of questions. The information can be specific to each jurisdiction. See FAQ section Contact Information for Reappraisal Jurisdictions for their contact information.


Submitting Documentation Electronically


I have information that would result in a larger adjustment to my market value. How can I get you this information?

If you have additional information that may change the reappraisal value of your property, you can submit the information through reappraisal.hcad.org. You will need to use the Reappraisal PIN located in the top right corner of your reappraisal letter.

You will be able to submit documents and pictures electronically through the website for our review. We suggest that you submit pictures of physical damage showing the water height in your building along with any repair costs or insurance settlements. Any information that you provide will help to ensure that we appropriately adjust your market value due to the disaster. You will have 45 days from the date on your letter to submit documentation for our review. You can also submit documents through the mail using the P.O. Box located in the top left corner of your reappraisal letter.

After the appraisal district has reviewed the information submitted, we will contact you either by phone or email as indicated in the information you provided at reappraisal.hcad.org.


When I go to reappraisal.hcad.org, it asks for an account number and a Reappraisal PIN. Where do I find this information?

Both the account number and the reappraisal PIN are located on the letter we mailed. The account number is in the information located in the top left under the date. The Reappraisal PIN is located in the top right of the letter.


Why are you asking questions about the damage to my property? I just want to submit my documentation.

Answering these questions allows us to have a complete picture of the damage to your property so that we can appropriately adjust your value, as necessary. It also provides us with contact information so that we can get in touch with you concerning the reappraisal value of your property.


I want to submit documentation and you are asking questions about the damage to my property. I already answered the questions in the mobile app or through email with your staff. Why do I have to submit it again?

We want to ensure that we have the most recent information available to you. We are also asking for additional information concerning the Dollar Amount of Damage along with contact information. We appreciate you taking the time to provide us this information so that we can have the information necessary to make a value decision.


I have an HCAD owner’s account. Can I use this to submit my documentation?

Yes, if you already have an HCAD online owner’s account, you can use it to submit documentation to us.


I am trying to use my account number and reappraisal PIN to create a HCAD online owner’s account and the system says PIN is incorrect. What do I need to do?

You cannot use the reappraisal PIN to create a HCAD owner’s account. The reappraisal PIN can only be used to submit information and documentation concerning the 2017 disaster reappraisal of your property. You will need to use the iFile number from your 2017 value notice (typically sent in March/April) to create an online owner’s account.

The quickest option to obtain your iFile number is by using the HCAD mobile app, now available for both iPhone and Android. The app allows the property owner to scan their driver’s license and automatically retrieve their iFile number. To download, please visit the Apple App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android) and search for Harris County Appraisal District.


I want to submit documentation but I can’t find the letter that you sent me. How can I get my reappraisal PIN?

You can contact us either at help@hcad.org or by phone at 713-957-7800. Please provide us an account number and/or owner’s name and property address and we can make it available to you.


I started to submit my information and realized I don’t have some of the documentation immediately available to me. How long do I have to provide documentation?

Initially, we are allowing 45 days to provide information from the date on the letter. Once you have submitted some information or documentation, you have five days to finalize all of the documentation. Files can no longer be uploaded after midnight of the fifth calendar day (including weekends) from your initial submission. The 5 day window allows us to proceed with reviewing the documentation and contacting you.


What will you do with the information/documentation that I provide?

The information and documentation you provide will be reviewed by an appraiser as part of the disaster reappraisal process.


What restrictions are there on the files I can upload?

Acceptable file types are .jpg/.jpeg (photos), .doc/.docx (Word), .xls/.xlsx (Excel) and .pdf. There is a 25 MB file size limit for each individual file and a total space limit of 25 MB for all files.


I have provided the documentation requested. How long will it be before you contact me?

After you have submitted information, you will have 5 additional days to submit any other information necessary. After the 5 days has passed, we will begin reviewing information provided and contacting property owners as quickly as possible. This is a new process for us so it is difficult to give specific information regarding how quickly we will be able to get back in touch with you. Accounts will be worked on a first-in, first-out basis. Therefore, the sooner you provide us information the sooner we will be able to get in touch with you.

We will contact you either by phone or email as indicated in the information you provided us electronically through reappraisal.hcad.org


I provided additional information but when I spoke to the appraiser, we were unable to come to an agreement on my 2017 disaster reappraisal value. What happens now?

You will be scheduled for a formal hearing in front of the Appraisal Review Board (ARB). The ARB is not bound by any offer made by any employee of the district. The ARB has the authority to change the value of any given property as they see fit. The market value that will be discussed is that which appears on the reappraisal letter. Any value changes discussed between you and an appraiser prior to the ARB hearing is no longer available once you appear in front of the ARB.


Contact Information for Reappraisal Jurisdictions


Woodlands Township

Phone: 936-539-7897

Website: http://www.mctx.org/departments/departments_q_-_z/tax_office/index.php


MUD 386

Phone: 281-479-7798


Harris-Ft. Bend MUD 1

Phone: 281-444-3946

Website: http://www.equitaxinc.com


City of Katy

Phone: 713-274-8000

Website: http://www.hctax.net/


Spring Branch ISD

Phone: 713-251-7960

Website: https://cms.springbranchisd.com/finance/Finance/Tax-Office/About


City of Shoreacres

Phone: 281-420-4845

Website: http://tax.gccisd.net/PropertyTaxServices/AccountSearch/tabid/60/Default.aspx


La Porte ISD

Phone: 281-420-4845

Website: http://tax.gccisd.net/PropertyTaxServices/AccountSearch/tabid/60/Default.aspx


 
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