AUSTIN, Texas – Residents who were hit hard by Hurricane Harvey are being given an option to pay their 2017 and 2018 property taxes in four installments, rather than one lump sum.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made the announcement via a statement on Wednesday afternoon.
“This will not lower appraisals or property taxes, but it will spread out what is owed over several months and eliminate penalties and interest," Patrick said in the statement.
The option could help those dealing with the aftermath of the storm.
“Helping Texans who are recovering and rebuilding after the storm is my top priority," Patrick said in the statement. "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."
The option is also available for small businesses that were damaged. Patrick is familiar with the law because he helped make it stronger with a 2009 amendment.
“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," Patrick said. "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."
Residents in counties that have been declared disaster areas must take the following steps in order to pay their property taxes in installments:
- By Jan. 31, they must pay 25 percent of their property tax bill and inform their local taxing unit that they intend to pay the balance in installments.
- On March 31, the second 25 percent payment is due.
- On May 31, the third 25 percent payment is due.
- On July 31, the final 25 percent payment is due.
Eligible residents can pay their 2017 and 2018 property taxes in installments.