TX Property Tax installment payment for disaster damaged property

1 Reply

Long time reader, first time poster.  Started purchasing rental properties in 2014 and currently have 14 single family residential properties in southeast Texas.  Unfortunately, we experienced damage to all our properties thanks to Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.  In my researching Texas' Property Tax Code I came across chapter 31.032, INSTALLMENT PAYMENTS OF TAXES ON PROPERTY IN DISASTER AREA. This chapter essentially allows for interest and penalty free payments of property taxes. The four installments are to be due February 1st, April 1st, June 1st and August 1st.

Based on my reading of chapter 31.032, I delivered formal notice via a letter along with my first installment payment to the local tax assessor. My local tax assessor indicated that chapter 31.032 did not apply to my situation because the properties are not homestead. I pointed out that that is not the only qualification, and that if the property is used for residential purposes and has less than 5-units it was applicable. Furthermore, I pointed out that we were also eligible based on a second qualification that because our properties are owned by a business entity and our gross receipts were less than a particular calculation which is adjusted yearly and currently at approximately $5.7M. Are gross receipts are much less than this amount.

Was wondering if any other investors within Texas have been successful in paying their disaster damaged property taxes in four, interest and penalty, installments as allowed by Texas Property Tax code 31.032? And if so what county was it in? Trying to determine if this is something I should pursue further legally, or just pay all of the taxes now. Would much rather keep the money in my control for as long as possible.

Oh, forgot to mention that all of these properties are located on Orange County, Texas.

Thanks in advance for your insight.

@Travis Williams what a great find in the code! I've heard rumors that you will also get to protest the tax amount come April due to the damage and devaluation. While I have no experience, nor previous knowledge of that code, I say get after it! Lawyer up and bring it hard. Since you have 14 properties I would assume the lawyer fee would be worth the savings over the next few years. 

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