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PROPERTY TAX: DON’T LET YOUR APPRAISAL DISTRICT OVERVALUE YOUR FLOODED HOME POST HURRICANE HARVEY

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HOUSTON – Feb. 20, 2018 – O’Connor, the largest
property tax consulting firm in the U.S., reports that
many Texas Gulf appraisal districts are actively using an
inappropriate valuation model as a means for revaluing
homes. While many are still rebuilding post Hurricane
Harvey, tax season has arrived, placing a heavier burden
on many Texas homeowners.
“Appraisal districts are incorrectly calculating the ‘as
flooded’ value of homes impacted by Harvey and only
considering the amount of physical damage,” said Patrick
O’Connor, president of O’Connor. “Market value is based
on a variety of factors. Many appraisal districts are ignoring
their statutory duty to value property at market value.
It is not practical to value a flooded house by simply
deducting the cost of repairs. Additionally, a buyer for
this type of property is typically paying 41 percent of the
market value before flooding, based on a recent study by
Property Analytix of 345 Houston-area houses.”
O’Connor wants homeowners to know that appraisal
districts are often valuing flooded homes at double their
market value for 2018. Appraisal districts are relying
heavily on homeowners to “self-report” and to directly
reach out to the appraisal district if their homes were
in fact flooded. By depending on self-reporting, only 10
percent of flooded homes are properly valued.
Port Arthur Mayor Derrick Freeman told CBS News
that 20,000 homes had as much as six feet of water
in them during Hurricane Harvey. However, Jefferson
County Appraisal District has
only learned of 901 flooded
properties in all of Jefferson
County as of late January.
This is because JCAD is
using self-reporting and only
revaluing homes if the owner
reports the flooding and provides
appropriate support,
instead of attempting to identify
which homes were flooded.
Appraisal districts are
mandated to value property
at market value by Texas Tax
Code Section 23. It is impossible
to value flooded property
without knowing if it flooded
or the amount of the damage.
Even though appraisal
district staff find it difficult to
revalue flooded properties, it
is a requirement by law.
O’Connor’s licensed tax
consultants and support team
assist property owners by reducing property taxes, filing
personal property renditions, reviewing tax statements,
protesting over-assessed property values, and attending
informal tax hearings and appraisal review board
meetings. Reducing property tax assessments includes
filing property tax protests, requesting appraisal district
evidence, and attending informal and formal hearings.

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