Bell County tornado victims may qualify for property tax discounts
SALADO, Texas (KWTX) - Some property owners who suffered damage to their properties as a result of the EF-3 tornado that tore through southern Bell County on April 12 will be get some relief in the form of discounts on their taxes.
As part of Governor Greg Abbott’s disaster declaration in response to the storm, property owners will receive a discount on their assessed property value which will be used to calculate their property taxes for the year.
To qualify, property owners must have damage that is at least equal to 15% of their 2022 appraised property value. Appraisals for properties in Bell County are being released throughout April.
“If a house is worth $100,000 and there was $15,000 of damage that would be 15 percent,” explains Billy White, the Chief Appraiser for the Bell County Tax Appraisal District.
Per section 11.35 of the state tax code, property owners will qualify for varying degrees of exemptions depending on the extent of their damage.
To calculate whether the amount of damage to your property is at least 15 percent or greater of your appraised value, the Bell County Tax Appraisal districts recommends this formula:
The financial benefits of the temporary exemption will be seen when property owners receive their tax bills in October.
Homeowners with property damage like the Jones family in the South Shore neighborhood say it’s an unexpected relief as they see repair costs mounting.
“We’ve had some people come out and give us estimates of what a new roof is going to cost...Upwards of $10,000. All of the fence except for the front corner is gone. We’ve had one bid for the fence that was $12,000,” said Meagen Jones.
The exemptions are temporary meaning they only apply to this tax year within which the disaster happened.
Property owners who believe they qualify for the exemption should submit an application and supporting documents such as repair estimates, insurance claims and photos of their damage to the appraisal office by the deadline of July 27.
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